ON OUR DESKS

  • Prepared C-suite briefing on U.S.-Korea business issues
  • Analyzed business impact of U.S. export controls changes
  • Accompanied client executives during Washington fly-ins

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:

 

  • The Administration’s WTO priorities in advance of MC12 with Assistant USTR for Multilateral and WTO Affairs Andrea Durkin (Contact: Steve Ziehm) 

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 sanctions

EU negotiations for a sixth package of sanctions broke down following Hungary’s opposition to a ban on oil imports from Russia, and the EU has now cautioned it may be week until the bloc announces further action. Germany previously announced it will halt imports of oil from Russia by year’s end and will nationalize the Russian-owned oil refinery that supplies much of Berlin’s fuel. Finance ministers from the G7 met in Koenigswinter in Germany on May 19. Ministers highlighted aid to Ukraine in a joint statement

(Contact: Pat Sheehy)

US-EU Trade and Technology Council 

The US-EU Trade and Technology Council (TTC) convened its second ministerial meeting May 15-16 in Paris, working to further define agendas for the ten TTC working groups.  Ministers highlighted the transatlantic response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, including cooperation on export controls and food security challenges. The United States is expected to host the next TTC meeting before the end of 2022.

(Contact: Steve Ziehm)

Latin America

The United States announced it will loosen restrictions on remittances to Cuba and expand travel opportunities “to support the Cuban people, providing them additional tools to pursue a life free from Cuban government oppression.” The United States will also seek to support Cuba’s non-state economy with new digital tools. 

The United States also announced slight easing of sanctions on the Venezuelan regime, allowing a U.S. firm to engage in discussions with the government and removing a sanctions designation on a high-level Venezuelan official. Renewed negotiations between the Maduro regime and the opposition may also lead to additional sanctions relief. Senate Foreign Relations Chair Robert Menendez (D-NJ) warned that easing sanctions on Venezuela is “destined to fail” and said that the new Cuba policy sends “the wrong message to the wrong people, at the wrong time and for all the wrong reasons.”

Meanwhile, many countries in the region, including Mexico and Honduras, continue to object to the possible exclusion of Cuba from the upcoming Summit of the Americas. Seeking to smooth the way, Summit Special Advisor former Senator Chris Dodd visited Mexico to encourage President Lopez Obrador, and First Lady Jill Biden announced plans to visit Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Panama.

(Contact: Ethan Knecht, Pat Sheehy, Chris Benscher)

Quick takes

  • President Biden visits Korea May 20-22, where Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol is expected to announce Korea’s intent to join the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF). The United States and Korea will also sign a Memorandum of Understanding establishing a U.S.-Korea Supply Chain and Commercial Dialogue. President Biden’s next stop will be Japan May 22-23.
  • The United States and more than 30 other countries issued May 19 a Roadmap for Global Food Security–Call to Action affirming the role of the United Nations in responding to the global food security crisis and calling on all UN Member States to work together to mitigate recent shocks to global agriculture and food systems.
  • Chile’s new draft constitution will be put to a referendum on September 4. The draft is less radical than some observers had expected. It proposes to reduce the president’s power and strengthen the legislature while guaranteeing new social rights, including those related to education, health, employment, food, and personal data. 
  • Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Denmark announced that $143 billion in new offshore wind power investments will enable them to deliver more than half the capacity needed to reach EU climate neutrality by 2050.

NOTICES, BILLS & HEARINGS

Federal Register Notices

Legislation

House

  • H.R.7827 (Pocan, D-WI) Would impose a moratorium on large agribusiness, food and beverage manufacturing, and grocery retail mergers.
  • H.R.7808 (Stewart, R-UT) Would suspend tariffs and quotas on infant formula imports.
  • H.R.7806 (Rogers, R-AL) Would end U.S. membership of the United Nations.
  • H.Con.Res.91 (Meeks, D-NY) Welcoming the Prime Minister of Greece to address a joint meeting of Congress.
  • H.R.7779 (Pfluger, R-TX) Would restrict entry in the U.S. for Confucius Institutes and Chinese Entities of Concern.
  • H.R.7765 (Spanberger, D-VA) Would establish 6 Agricultural Supply Chain Regional Resource Centers across the U.S. to support SMEs.
  • H.R.7745 (Jacobs, D-CA) Would provide funding to the International Criminal Court to help investigate Russian war crimes.

Senate

  • S.4252 (Paul, R-KY) Would suspend tariffs and quotas on infant formula imports.
  • S.4243 (Portman, R-OH) Would establish a DHS Trade and Economic Security Council. 
  • S.4218 (Wyden, D-OR) Would deny foreign tax credits on taxes paid to Russia/Belarus.
  • S.4216 (Rubio, R-FL) Would reauthorize the North Korean Human Rights Act of 2004 that provides grants to NGOs to promote assistance to North Koreans in need. 
  • S.4209 (Hirono, D-HI) Would establish new diplomatic posts in the Pacific Islands.

Hearings

House

Senate


WHO’S WHO

Arrivals

  • Barbara Leaf, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs
  • Bridget Brink, Ambassador to Ukraine
  • Homer Wilkes, Under Secretary of Agriculture for Natural Resources and the Environment
  • Laura Lane, APEC Business Advisory Council Member
  • Michael Pyle, Acting Deputy National Security Advisor
  • Trey Lyons, NSC Director for Eastern Europe

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


UPCOMING EVENTS

  • U.S.-Organization of Islamic Cooperation Strategic Dialogue (Washington, D.C.) May 23-24
  • President Biden travels to East Asia (Japan, South Korea), May 20-24
  • Australian federal election, May 21
  • World Economic Forum Annual Meeting (Davos), May 22-26  
  • WHO World Health Assembly (Geneva), May 22-28
  • U.S. Senate is in session and the House is holding a committee work week, May 23-27
  • United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (Bangkok), May 23-27 
  • Seventh Session of the WHO Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (Bali, Indonesia), May 23-28
  • EU Economic and Financial Affairs Council (Brussels), May 24
  • UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Committee of Permanent Representatives (Nairobi, Kenya), May 26
  • ILO International Labor Conference (Geneva), May 27 – June 11
  • Colombia presidential election, May 29

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