ON OUR DESKS

  • Advising on implementation of and compliance with new U.S. forced labor law 
  • Briefing on U.S.-Taiwan relations 
  • Monitoring ongoing Russia sanctions developments

How can we help you? Email any IBC counsellor for assistance or consult our issues list to find the expert you’re looking for.


WIBC DISCUSSIONS

In case you missed it:

 

  • No Washington International Business Council Meeting the week of June 20

Up next: Register for upcoming WIBC discussions here

WIBC discussions are open to WIBC members only. Not a member? Contact Christina for membership inquiries.


YOU NEED TO KNOW

Russia/Ukraine

The June 23-24 European Council meeting formalized Ukraine and Moldova’s EU candidacy status and Croatia’s adoption of the Euro, alongside broader discussions of the war in Ukraine, global food security, and EU enlargement. Italian Prime Minister Draghi requested a follow up summit in July to discuss economic issues, subject to agreement by other member states; the Commission also expects to advance an energy cooperation plan in July as Russia has now fully or partially halted gas deliveries to 12 EU member states. 

Multiple EU, G7, NATO, and UN summits are ongoing June 24-30. The June 24 UN food security ministerial (addressing food security impacts of armed conflict, climate change, and COVID19) will feed into the June 25 G7 Summit, which could yield additional coordinated sanctions on Russia or actions on energy. NATO will then meet June 29-30 in Spain and will consider Finland and Sweden’s candidacies to join the alliance.

Contact: Pat Sheehy, Stephen Ziehm

 

Uygur Forced Labor Prevention Act 

The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) entered into force on June 21. The act institutes a “rebuttable presumption” that any items sourced in whole or in part from China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) are produced using forced labor and are inadmissible for import into the United States. In addition, the UFLPA establishes a list of entities subject to the presumption (UFLPA Entity List). 

The UFLPA imposes a high burden for compliance, short timelines for contesting detentions, and a limited likelihood that contested shipments will be cleared for import into the United States. Importers may consult the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) June 17 “implementing strategy” and Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) June 14 preliminary guidance on enforcement. 

Detailed analysis of the implementing strategy, enforcement guidance, and likely trajectory for enforcement are available on request. 

Contact: Pat Sheehy

 

Latin America

Columbia elected its first leftist president on June 20. One-time guerilla and former Bogota mayor Gustavo Petro campaigned on a sweeping reform agenda. His running mate, Francia Márquez, is a human-rights and environmental activist and lawyer and will be the first Afro-Colombian vice president. While Petro will not hold a legislative majority, his policy priorities include:

  • Consider renegotiating the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement, if the Biden Administration agrees.
  • Repeal the 2019 tax reform and raise taxes on businesses, especially hydrocarbon and coal companies, wealthy Colombians, and “large, unproductive properties.”
  • Prohibit new oil exploration contracts and transition the state energy company, Ecopetrol, to a wind and solar energy company.
  • Reopen the border with Venezuela and possibly begin normalizing diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Florida governor Republican Rick DeSantis called Petro’s election “disastrous” and even some Democrats expressed concern about Petro’s past alignment with leftist movements. President Biden and Secretary of State Blinken both congratulated the president-elect and emphasized areas of common ground, such as “climate change, improving public health, and advancing inclusive economic opportunity.”

Meanwhile, turmoil has upended Ecuador as indigenous movement-led protestors have paralyzed the capital city of Quito over inflation and cost of living concerns. President Lasso declared a state of emergency, and the State Department warned against travel to the country due to “civil unrest and crime.” Similar protests toppled three presidents in Ecuador between 1997 and 2005.

Contact: Ethan Knecht

 

Sustainability

The European Council and European Parliament reached a provisional agreement on the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), which will require firms to report on their alignment with the EU taxonomy and the impacts of their operations on sustainability issues. The agreement will enter into force 20 days after it is published in the EU Official Journal, and its provisions must then be integrated into EU members’ national laws within 18 months. The European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) is accepting comments until August 8 on CSRD reporting standards it is drafting.

Relatedly, feedback (received via a comment period that ended June 17) on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) proposed rules to enhance climate-related disclosures included concerns about the burden and costs of compliance, especially if the SEC were to require firms to report on scope 3 emissions.

Contact: Scott Seaman

 

Quick takes

  • French President Macron was forced into negotiations with opposition parties, including the far right National Rally party, to form a legislative majority after his own party fell 44 seats short in the second round of parliamentary elections. 
  • USAID launched on June 22 its $62.5 million Save Our Seas Initiative, which will improve “solid waste management systems and [strengthen] policies and practices for the 3Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle).”
  • Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Marisa Lago stressed at a June 23 CSIS event the importance of U.S.-APEC data privacy and digital trade work. At the same event, Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) CEO Nobuhiko Sasaki emphasized that “digitalization” of ASEAN countries is expected to be a major area of growth and target of investment in the next decade.
  • East China Sea tensions flared this week when Tokyo once again protested Beijing’s efforts to unilaterally develop oil and gas resources there. 

NOTICES, BILLS & HEARINGS

Federal Register Notices

Legislation

House

  • H.R.8174 (Blumenauer, D-OR) To provide for the temporary duty-free importation of certain infant formula products, and for other purposes.
  • H.R.8173 (Biggs, R-AZ) To repeal the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
  • H.R.8157 (Donalds, R-FL) To amend title 41, United States Code, to require additional transparency in Federal procurement during supply chain disruptions.
  • H.R.8156 (Cohen, D-TN) To authorize the Attorney General to transfer the proceeds of certain forfeited property to remediate the harms of Russian aggression towards Ukraine.
  • H.R.8153 (Bera, D-CA) Indo-Pacific Engagement Act
  • H.R.8144 (Kinzinger, R-IL) To authorize appropriations to provide assistance and training to Ukrainian military pilots, and for other purposes.
  • H.R.8120 (Panetta, D-CA) To prohibit the importation of certain products of the Russian Federation.
  • H.R.8106 (Golden, D-ME) Fighting Foreign Influence Act

Senate

  • S.4450 (Portman, R-OH) To provide the President with authority to enter into a comprehensive trade agreement with the United Kingdom.
  • S.4428 (Menendez, D-NJ) To support the security of Taiwan and its right of self-determination.

Hearings

House

Senate


WHO’S WHO

Arrivals

  • Max Hamilton, NSC Director for North America
  • Michael Bloomberg, Defense Innovation Board Chair
  • Nick Leiserson, Assistant National Cyber Director for Policy And Programs
  • Takashi Sadakane, Japanese Embassy Agriculture Counselor
  • Thomas Mancinelli, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs

Nominations

  • Dr. Arati Prabhakar, OSTP Director
  • Kristina Kvien, Ambassador to Armenia
  • Randy Berry, Ambassador to Namibia
  • Robert Forden, Ambassador to Cambodia
  • Rolfe Michael Schiffer, Assistant USAID Administrator for Asia

Want more scoops on personnel moves? Find the most recent Who’s Who here.


UPCOMING EVENTS

  • President Biden travels to Europe for NATO and G7 Summits, June 25-29
  • G7 Leaders Summit (Schloss Elmau, Germany), June 26-28
  • UN Oceans Conference (Lisbon, Portugal), June 27 – July 1
  • FAO Council (Rome, Italy), June 29
  • NATO Summit (Madrid, Spain), June 29-30

Looking farther ahead? Find the most recent full international events calendar here.