ON OUR DESKS

  • Advising on prospects for progress on trade legislation pending in Congress
  • Advising clients on overseas congressional travel during the August recess

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:

 

  • Mexico’s perspective on the North American trade and economic relationship with Ambassador of Mexico Esteban Moctezuma (Contact: Chris Benscher)
  • The Administration’s global economic priorities with State Department Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs Dilawar Syed (Contact: Chris Benscher)

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

USMCA

The United States initiated, and Canada announced it will support, consultation and dispute settlement proceedings against Mexico over energy policies the two countries claim violate the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) by giving preference to Mexican state-owned enterprises and limiting competition. Parties now have 30 days to enter into consultations, unless they reach a settlement or agree otherwise. If the parties do not resolve the matter through consultations within 75 days, the United States may request the establishment of a dispute settlement panel.

Mexican President Lopez Obrador staunchly defended Mexico’s energy policy, saying it is “in line with public interest, defending the Mexican people against greedy companies used to stealing.” 

Contact: Steve Ziehm, Chris Benscher

 

Supply chains

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo on July 19 hosted 17 partner countries for the second virtual “Supply Chain Ministerial Forum,” where participants (including Australia, Brazil, Canada, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the European Union, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States) agreed to cooperatively pursue increased supply chain transparency, diversification, security and sustainability.  The Administration is now using these annual forums to promote supply chain initiatives and contribute to the development of IPEF. 

Contact: Chris Benscher, Steve Ziehm

 

Russia sanctions

The European Council adopted on July 21 a seventh package of sanctions against Russia, which the Council describes as a “maintenance and alignment” package. The measures ban imports of Russian gold into the bloc, extend certain agriculture and oil product general authorizations to cover actions by third countries, place export controls on additional items, and freeze the assets of Sberbank and other Russian parties. The EU also issued new clarifications and guidelines for previous measures. 

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres announced on Friday that Russia and Ukraine have signed separate agreements with Turkey and the United Nations allowing for the export of grain, fertilizer and other agricultural commodities trapped in the Black Sea. The deal contains provisions for the safe transit and inspection of ships to three Black Sea ports, including Odessa. Inspections will be carried out by Turkey in Istanbul. The deal’s provisions will be implemented via a joint command center located in Istanbul.

Contact: Pat Sheehy

 

Quick takes

  • Trade ministers from Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) partner countries will reportedly meet for the IPEF ministerial July 26-27. A leaked draft trade statement indicates they will discuss labor, environment, agriculture, and regulatory transparency commitments, among others. IPEF senior officials met July 13-14 in Singapore.
  • The Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) urged President Biden to consider sanctions against Hong Kong officials involved in arbitrary detention of individuals exercising universally recognized human rights.
  • In comments at the Center for Strategic International Studies (CSIS), Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) revealed that Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) is preparing a carbon border adjustment bill including provisions for a carbon tax. While Whitehouse described the draft bill as bipartisan, significant Republican support seems unlikely and would be needed to garner approval in the Senate.
  • The July 21 Mercosur summit ended in chaos after Brazilian President Bolsonaro refused to attend in-person, and Uruguay both refused to sign the summit declaration and said it will pursue a bilateral free trade agreement with China. Mercosur members announced they concluded negotiations for an FTA with Singapore on July 20 and would reduce the common external tariff by 10%.

NOTICES, BILLS & HEARINGS

Federal Register Notices

Legislation

 

House

  • H.R.8453 (Wagner, R-MO) To provide for the imposition of sanctions with respect to foreign persons undermining the Dayton Peace Agreement or threatening the security of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  • H.R.8446 (McCollum, D-MN) To modify and extend the Global Food Security Act of 2016.
  • H.R.8439 (Bacon, R-NE) To modify the requirements of congressional review and oversight of agreements with Iran.
  •  H.R.8422 (Biggs, R-AZ) To prohibit funding to the Special Representative for Racial Equity and Justice of the Department of State.
  • H.R.8372 (Castro, D-TX) Multilateral Leadership Act

Senate

  • S.4572 (Peters, D-MI) To require CBP to expand the use of non-intrusive inspection systems at land ports of entry.
  •  S.4569 (Rubio, R-FL) To prohibit the provision of Federal funds to certain entities subject to sanctions imposed by the United States.
  • S.4568 (Burr, R-NC) To promote the increased use of renewable natural gas and to increase job creation and economic opportunity throughout the United States.
  • S.4567 (Cramer, R-ND) To eliminate the per-country numerical limitation for employment-based immigrants, to increase the per-country numerical limitation for family-sponsored immigrants.
  •  S.4554 (Graham, R-SC) To establish a task force to monitor the nuclear weapons and missile capabilities of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
  • S.4548 (Sinema, D-AZ) To provide for the assumption of full ownership and control of the International Outfall Interceptor in Nogales, Arizona, by the International Boundary and Water Commission.
  • S.4547 (Cruz, R-TX) To require a report on efforts by Venezuelan state actors and transnational criminal organizations to capture and detain United States citizens as hostages.
  • S.4546 (Hawley, R-MO) To prohibit conflict of interests among consulting firms that simultaneously contract with China and the USG.

Upcoming Congressional hearings 

 

House

Senate


WHO’S WHO

Arrivals

  • Bernadette Meehan, U.S. Ambassador to Chile
  • Isabel Munilla, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Energy for Market Development, Climate, and Multilateral Engagement
  • Katrina Mulligan, Chief of Staff to the Secretary of the Army
  • Philip Goldberg, U.S. Ambassador to Korea
  • Rebecca Webb, Chief of Staff to the Ex-Im Chair

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


UPCOMING EVENTS

  • USAID Administrator Samantha Power travels to East Africa, July 22-24
  • G20 High Level Trade Investment and Industry Forum, July 26-27
  • FAO symposium on “Soils for Nutrition” (Rome), July 26-28 
  • The Indo-Pacific Economic Framework ministerial,  July 26-27
  • President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (Washington), July 28
  • G20 Dialogue on Trade And Investment, July 28

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