ON OUR DESKS
- Advising clients on engagement opportunities during the U.S. APEC host year
- Assessing Congressional trade priorities and pending trade program renewals
- Reporting on dumping and countervailing duties determinations
- Developing client positions on international food safety standards
These are just examples of client service. How can we help you? Email any IBC counsellor for assistance or consult our issues list to find the expert you’re looking for.
In case you missed it:
- March 1: Deputy Assistant USTR for China Affairs Timothy Wineland, U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade priorities
Upcoming WIBC events:
- March 7: Assistant USTR for Small Business, Market Access, and Industrial Competitiveness Sushan Demirjian, Global Arrangement on Steel and Aluminum, the Inflation Reduction Act, and supply chain issues
- March 21: Special Representative for Subnational Diplomacy Ambassador Nina Hachigian, Subnational economic diplomacy and the upcoming Cities Summit of the Americas
WIBC discussions are open to WIBC members only. Not a member? Contact Alix for membership inquiries.
YOU NEED TO KNOW
During the February 28 first hearing convened by the House Select Committee on the Strategic Competition, topics covered included Taiwan, trade, human rights, and more. China’s Foreign Ministry criticized the Committee as displaying “ideological bias and zero-sum Cold War mentality.” In Washington, the Committee was praised for exhibiting rare bipartisanship.
Other Congressional action on China included a House Science Committee hearing on the need to increase research to out compete China. The House Foreign Affairs Committee held a February 28 hearing on China policy with administration witnesses and approved legislation to remove China’s developing country status and other bills focused on discouraging China’s malign behavior. The House Financial Services Committee approved legislation that would distance financial institutions from China and require China’s removal from the G20 and other global organizations if they threaten Taiwan. Some on the Committee, including ranking member Maxine Waters (D-CA) pushed for more modest measures while calling for Congress to make progress on issues that could overall weaken the U.S. economy like the debt ceiling.
Meanwhile, the Biden Administration’s assessment of China’s membership in the World Trade Organization concluded that China’s continuing state-led economic and trade approach “runs counter to the open, market-oriented principles endorsed by all members of the organization.”
Russia and Eurasia
G20 foreign ministers – including U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Russia’s Sergei Lavrov, and China’s Qin Gang – convened March 2 in Delhi. The meeting marked Secretary Blinken and Minister Lavrov’s first in-person engagement since the start of the war.
G20 President India had aimed to focus on issues affecting developing countries, but the agenda was overtaken by debate on the war in Ukraine and did not reach consensus on a ministers declaration. “The Quad” (India, Japan, Australia, and the United States) instead issued a joint statement affirming their commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.
Prior to the G20 ministerial, Secretary Blinken traveled to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan in an effort to offset Russia’s influence in Central Asia. He thanked Central Asian nations for their adherence to U.S. sanctions and export controls on Russia and emphasized the United States’ continued support for the sovereignty and development of post-Soviet states.
In a March 3 White House meeting, President Biden and German Chancellor Olaf Sholz got “in the weeds” on Ukraine, with Sholz reaffirming Germany will support Ukraine for “as long as it takes.”
Separately, Commerce, Treasury, and Justice released on March 1 a joint advisory on sanction compliance, detailing common diversion and sanctions evasion schemes.
Contact: Pat Sheehy
USTR released on March 1 its 2023 Trade Policy Agenda and 2022 Annual Report, citing the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) and the Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity (APEP) as top priorities.
The Trade Policy Agenda reiterates the Biden administration’s emphasis on a “worker-centered trade policy,” highlighting labor enforcement under the USMCA’s rapid response mechanism (RRM). In the context of re-aligning the U.S.-China trade relationship, the agenda indicates a continued focus on China’s forced labor and non-market economic policies, while noting that USTR will continue a targeted tariff exclusions process for Section 301 actions to ensure that U.S. economic interests are being served.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (R-MO) released the committee’s trade priorities, which include focus on trade negotiations, enforcement (USMCA in particular), China (intellectual property, trade remedies), implementation of all existing trade agreements, trade preferences (the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill, the Generalized System of Preferences, the African Growth and Opportunity Act, and duty-free treatment for Haiti), forced labor, and customs reauthorization.
- The United Kingdom and the European Union reached agreement to resolve Brexit-related differences over the Northern Ireland Protocol.
- The White House announced appointments to the President’s Export Council, which has been inactive since 2016.
- President Biden suggested he may veto legislation passed by both chambers of Congress that would block implementation of a Labor Department rule allowing retirement plans to consider climate factors in their investment decisions.
- Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced a virtual summit to be held April 5 with Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Cuba, and Honduras to develop a regional plan to tackle inflation by eliminating tariffs on agriculture and other goods. Ecuador and Costa Rica also signed a Free Trade Agreement earlier this week.
- The White House released on March 2 a new National Cybersecurity Strategy, seeking to shift responsibility for cybersecurity from individual users and small organizations to large entities through new sectoral cybersecurity requirements and increased federal assistance.
NOTICES, BILLS & HEARINGS
Federal Register Notices
- BIS, Additions of 37 Entities to Entity List, February 27
- BIS, Russia and Belarus Sanctions, February 27
- EOP, Adjusting Imports of Aluminum into the United States, March 2
- EOP, Increasing Duties on Certain Articles from the Russian Federation, March 2
- EOP, Presidential Waiver of Defense Production Act Section 303 for Defense Supply Chain Resilience, March 2
- OFAC, Cartel Sanctions, February 27
- OFAC, Venezuela Sanction Regulations Web General Licenses 19-22 and Subsequent and Licenses 36-39, March 2
- OFAC, Russian Harmful Foreign Activities Sanctions Web General Licenses, March 3
- State, Iran Sanctions Evader Designations, March 2
Newly Introduced Legislation
- H.R.1330 (Steel, D-CA) Would provide defense article loans and leases to Taiwan.
- H.R.1324 (Pfluger, R-TX) Would require the Administration to assess using existing sanctions criteria whether Chinese entities should be sanctioned.
- H.R.1254 (Morelle, D-NY) Would direct the President to build support among countries who have frozen Russian central bank assets to use them for the reconstruction of Ukraine.
- H.R.1176 (Connolly, D-VA) Would require the United States to oppose China’s attempts to undermine Taiwan initiatives in international organizations.
- H.R.1171 (Banks, R-IN) Would impose sanctions on the government of China.
- H.R.1161 (Waters, D-CA) Would align SEC regulations for the World Bank’s International Development Association Act.
- H.R.1159 (Wagner, R-MO) Would require updated reports relating to the Department of State’s Taiwan Guidelines.
- H.R.1157 (Barr, R-KY) Would create a fund to counter PRC’s malign influence.
- H.R.1156 (Spanberger, D-VA) Would mitigate financial threats from China.
- H.R.1151 (Meeks, D-NY) Would hold China accountable for violating U.S. airspace.
- S.653 (Klobuchar, D-MN) Would lift the trade embargo on Cuba.
- S.629 (Coons, D-DE) Would provide the President with authority to enter into a comprehensive trade agreement with the United Kingdom.
- S.591/ S.588 (Rubio, R-FL) Would sanction China in response to certain activities in the South China Sea and East China Sea/ Would sanction China for the failure to allow an investigation into the origins of COVID-19.
- S.587/S.586 (Rubio, R-FL) Would sanction non-U.S. persons for negligent creation of space debris/Would limit U.S.-China military-to-military exchanges and remove the exception for search and rescue and humanitarian operations.
- S.585 (Rubio, R-FL) Would require the Administration to assess using existing sanctions criteria whether Chinese entities should be sanctioned.
- S.584 (Rubio, R-FL) Would reauthorize the North Korea Human Rights Act of 2004.
- S.580 (Rubio, R-FL) Would provide greater scrutiny of visas for Chinese Communist Party members.
- S.552 (Rubio, R-FL) Would extend duty-free treatment to imports from Haiti.
- S.548 (Barrasso, R-WY) Would enhance U.S. security and its allies.
- S.538 (Rubio, R-FL) Would prohibit the removal of Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism until Cuba satisfies certain conditions.
- S.536 (Daines, R-MT) Would authorize the confiscation of Russian assets to offset the U.S. cost of assistance to Ukraine.
Upcoming Congressional Hearings
- Foreign Affairs: Administration’s Afghanistan evacuation, March 8, 10:00 am.
- Judiciary: U.S.-China IP/Strategic competition (part 1), March 8, 10:00 am.
- Foreign Relations: Vote on ambassadorial nominations to African Union, Saudi Arabia, India, International Bank for Reconstruction, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and Inter-American Development Bank, March 8, 10:30 am.
- Foreign Relations: Central Asia geopolitical competition/energy security, March 8, 2:00 pm.
- Mr. James Schindler, Senate Commerce Committee Republican Counsel
- Mr. Landon Heid, House Select Committee on China Technology Policy Professional Staff Member
- Ms. Laura Rosenberger, American Institute in Taiwan Chair
- Mr. Laurent Billi, French Ambassador to the United States
- Mr. Mark Ein, President’s Export Council Chair
- Mr. Rodrigo Valdés, IMF Western Hemisphere Department Director
- Ms. Zephranie Buetow, Assistant DHS Secretary for Legislative Affairs
- Mr. Eric Green, NSC Senior Director for Russia and Central Asia
Want more scoops on personnel moves? Find the most recent Who’s Who here.
- PRC National People’s Congress and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference opening sessions (Beijing), March 4-5
- ASEAN Senior Officials’ Meeting (Jakarta), March 6-8
- U.S. Congress is in session, March 6-10
- 35th ASEAN-U.S. Dialogue (Jakarta), March 7
- WTO Trade Policy Review of Turkey, March 8 & 10
Looking farther ahead? Find the most recent full international events calendar here.