ON OUR DESKS

  • Advised on Australia-China relations and the upcoming Australian federal election
  • Secured administration meetings and prepared briefing materials for visiting C-suite executives
  • Advised on outlook for U.S. policy in the Middle East market

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:

 

    • U.S. international health priorities with Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services for Global Affairs Loyce Pace (Contact: Scott Seaman) 
    • EU perspectives on climate and energy policies with European Union Delegation Counselor for Climate and Energy Dagmara Koska (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

 

U.S.-ASEAN summit

Participants in the May 12-13 U.S.-ASEAN Special Summit discussed strengthening U.S. relations with and assistance to Southeast Asia, with a focus on health, climate, technology, infrastructure, trade facilitation, security, and education. The Summit had been postponed from late March, and ASEAN leaders were reportedly dissatisfied with arrangements heading into the Summit. While the Biden administration has stressed the need to increase U.S. engagement with ASEAN and counter China’s influence in the region, the U.S. announcement of $160 million in funding for new initiatives in the region was widely deemed underwhelming. 

Newly-victorious Philippine president-elect Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr. (aka Bongbong Marcos or BBM) was unable to attend the summit. Despite BBM’s alignment with his father, former dictator Ferdinand Marcos, and current President Rodrigo Duterte, the United States may have opportunities to cultivate ties with Marcos that keep Manila from moving closer to Beijing. BBM has sought to distinguish himself from Duterte on U.S. relations, noting in one debate that he will not be “cavalier” about the relationship.

(Contact: Scott Seaman)

Global health

At the second Global COVID-19 Summit on May 12, national governments and organizations committed $3.2 billion in new funding to combat COVID-19 and better prepare for future global health crises. The United States pledged an additional $200 million to the World Bank’s newly established pandemic preparedness and global health security fund. Prospects for any further U.S. funding are murky as Congress has yet to approve $4.75 billion in COVID funding requested in March.

Looking toward future health preparedness, the White House announced its intention to develop a global health workforce plan to include training for the ‘next generation’ health workforce, as well as efforts to strengthen digital and telehealth tools. USAID Administrator Samantha Power testified to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on May 1, noting that while USAID has traditionally focused on specific diseases like AIDS and tuberculosis, the agency is “trying to think about what it means to structure USAID around actually reversing [declining health expectancy around the world],” including through efforts to expand telehealth and access to healthcare.

(Contact: Scott Seaman, Ethan Knecht)

Russia sanctions 

On May 8, the United States and G7 partners committed to additional sanctions on Russia, including a prohibition on financial and management consulting services; restrictions on the Russian oil imports; sanctions on Russian banking, weapons, and media individuals and entities; and export controls on wood products, industrial engines, boilers, motors, fans, ventilation equipment, bulldozers, and “many other items with industrial and commercial applications.” 

The House passed bills ensuring U.S. financial institutions abide by Russia sanctions; providing debt relief to Ukraine; excluding Russian government officials from participating in World Bank, IMF, G20 meetings; and preventing Treasury from initiating IMF-related Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) transactions with Russia. The first two are more likely to move forward than the latter. 

(Contact: Pat Sheehy, Chris Benscher)

Quick takes

    • The SEC extended until June 17 the deadline for public comment on its proposed climate-related disclosure requirements. Among hundreds of comments already submitted, several had strongly urged extension (including multiple energy industry associations, agricultural associations, and a group of 21 state attorneys general). IBC is available to help clients analyze or draft comments on request.
    • Summit of the Americas preparations face headwinds as the presidents of Brazil, Mexico, and Bolivia have indicated they will not attend (joining most of CARICOM in preemptively turning down invitations that have not yet formally been issued). Argentina, Costa Rica, and Paraguay have confirmed their participation. 
    • The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee voted to create a national database that could require manufacturers to disclose information about their supply chains, in what the bill’s proponents consider an attempt to minimize future supply chain disruptions. A companion bill is under consideration in the House. 
    • Argentina will participate in the China-hosted BRICS summit this June, which indicates that the South American country could formally join the group this year. Brazil is also supporting Argentina’s entry into the BRICS’s New Development Bank.

NOTICES, BILLS & HEARINGS

Federal Register Notices

Legislation

House

  • H.R.7724 (Morelle, D-NY) Urging countries to redirect frozen Russian assets to Ukraine reconstruction efforts 
  • H.R.7718 (Feenstra, R-IA) Directing FDA to review/update international infant formula standards and compatibility with U.S. import requirements
  • H.R.7704 (Hill, R-AR) Requiring Treasury deter Chinese aggression toward Taiwan by reporting on and restricting certain financial institutions and accounts 
  • H.R.7691 (DeLauro, D-CT) Ukraine supplemental appropriations
  • H.R.7675 (Craig, D-MN) Establishing a USDA Agricultural and Food System Supply Chain Resilience and Crisis Response Task Force

Senate

  • S.4190 (Kennedy, R-LA) Providing for independent auditing of U.S. assistance funding to Ukraine
  • S.Res.623 (Graham, R-SC) Calling on the Secretary of State to designate Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism

Hearings

House

Senate


WHO’S WHO

Arrivals

  • Lisa Cook and Philip Jefferson, Members of the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors
  • Jed Kolko, Under Secretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs 
  • Jerome Powell, Federal Reserve Board of Governors Chair (Reconfirmed)
  • John Nkengasong, Global AIDS Coordinator and Special Representative Global Health Diplomacy
  • Kemba Eneas Walden, Principal Deputy National Cyber Director 
  • Tricia Van Orden, Director of the Trade Promotion Coordination Committee

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


UPCOMING EVENTS

  • Lebanon general elections May 15
  • U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council (Paris) May 15-16 
  • House and Senate in session May 16-20
  • ILO Conference on the Elimination of Child Labour (Durban, South Africa) May 15-20
  • President Biden hosts Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis of Greece May 16
  • WIPO Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP) (Geneva/Virtual) May 16-20
  • APEC trade ministerial (Bangkok) May 21
  • Australian federal election May 21

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