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International Issues Update 2023/33

By September 8, 2023September 13th, 2023No Comments

ON OUR DESKS

  • Analyzing U.S. states’ manufacturing incentives
  • Assisting with ongoing issues around Russia divestment 
  • Scoping UN General Assembly (UNGA) engagement options
  • Advising on economic impact report launch and association branding

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.


WIBC DISCUSSIONS

In case you missed it:

  • September 6: State DAS for International Organization Affairs Brian Grimm, Expectations and priorities for the 78th UN General Assembly

Upcoming WIBC Events:

  • September 12: DFC Managing Director of Business Development and Impact Roxanne Alozie, Opportunities for international business engagement with the DFC
  • September 19: Under Secretary of Agriculture for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Alexis Taylor, U.S. ag and food trade priorities

REMINDER: Our client portal, WIBC calendar, and other resources are available at redflag.global/washington.

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


YOU NEED TO KNOW

China

During her August 27-30 visit to China, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and her Chinese counterpart agreed to hold annual bilaterals and announced three additional new bilateral consultation groups – a twice annual vice ministerial-level working group on trade and investment, an Assistant Secretary-level export control enforcement information exchange, and “regular” technical discussions on protecting trade secrets during administrative licensing proceedings. Secretary Raimondo highlighted national security and people-to-people ties with Premier Li Qiang and also met with Vice Premier He Lifeng to discuss climate change, space commerce, artificial intelligence, and healthcare.

Raimondo’s trip came as China’s economy continues to struggle, with exports falling for the fourth consecutive month. In response, Beijing announced the National Development and Reform Commission would establish a Private Economy Development Bureau “to coordinate policies across different government bodies and help development of the private economy.” Additionally, the government cut taxes on stock trading and increased support for the property market. 

Contact: Ethan Knecht, Pat Sheehy

Indo-Pacific

Concluded on September 7 in Jakarta, the ASEAN Leaders Summit saw limited progress in priority areas such as navigating the U.S.-China rivalry, addressing the ongoing crisis in Myanmar, and articulating a unified response to the war in Ukraine. Leaders did agree economic policy declarations including on regional growth and food security

Representing China, Premier Li Qiang emphasized China’s role as a dominant economic partner in the region and encouraged the “setting aside” of differences, though he did not specifically address criticism of China’s actions such as releasing maps that portray neighboring countries’ territory as part of China.

Vice President Kamala Harris represented the United States in the U.S.-ASEAN dialogue, which focused on stability in the South China Sea and economic cooperation. Dialogue partners also announced the establishment of a public-private U.S.-ASEAN Center in Washington, DC.

Also on the margins of the Leaders Summit, Indonesia convened the first ASEAN Indo-Pacific Forum, dedicated to dealmaking with participants discussing 93 deals worth $38 billion, including major port development and industrial metal refining projects.

Meanwhile, Commerce released on September 7 the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) Supply Chain Agreement, which aims to improve the resiliency and efficiency of supply chains “through information exchange, sharing of best practices, business matchmaking, collective response to disruptions, and supporting labor rights.”

Contact: Pat Sheehy,  Stephen Ziehm

Climate and environment

Ahead of a third round of global plastics treaty negotiations to be held November 13-19 in Nairobi, a zero draft published September 4 lays out options for objectives and provisions to stem plastic pollution. The zero draft includes a combination of nationally and internationally determined approaches but takes a generally broad approach, including “to protect human health” and with possible targets (voluntary or mandatory; global or national) for reduction and elimination over the full plastics life cycle. 

Separately, the inaugural African Climate Summit called for wealthier nations to facilitate investment in the continent as a clean energy hub and moving away from disaster-based aid.  During the summit, the United States announced a host of initiatives touching on food security, renewable energy, and climate resilience, while investors announced about $23 billion for projects such as solar microgrids, carbon markets, and reforestation. 

Contact: Liv LeoneStephen Ziehm

Quick takes

  • USTR extended more than 400 China tariff exclusions until December 31 as it continues its statutorily-required four-year review of the Section 301 action.   
  • Signaling escalation of a U.S.-Mexico trade dispute, the Biden administration is reportedly seeking affidavits detailing disruptions to U.S. energy companies’ operations and investments in Mexico.
  • House Republicans visiting Germany and France laid out opposition to the OECD’s as yet-unfinalized global tax treaty. While 183 countries agreed in July not to impose digital services taxes while negotiations continue, uncertainty has already led some to break that pause. 
  • The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) launched on September 6 a new program aimed at increasing participation of U.S. firms in projects financed by the bank to the tune of $4 billion per year.

NOTICES, BILLS & HEARINGS

Federal Register Notices

Newly Introduced Legislation

House

  • H.R.5309 (Lieu, D-CA) Would require a warrant for the disclosure of records from a provider of electronic communication service or remote computing service.
  • H.R.5310 (Lieu, D-CA) Would require information technology contractors to maintain a vulnerability disclosure policy and program.
  • H.R.5311 (Lieu, D-CA) Would preempt State data security vulnerability mandates and decryption requirements.

Senate

  • S.2750 (Hawley, R-MO) Would impose restrictions on the investment in Chinese companies by tax-exempt entities.
  • S.2748 (Murphy, D-CT) Would authorize the extension of nondiscriminatory treatment (normal trade relations treatment) to the products of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan.
  • S.2716 (Ernst, R-IA) Would prohibit the use of taxpayer dollars to support animal experimentation in the laboratories of adversarial nations.
  • S.2719 (Ernst, R-IA) Would provide for the reallocation of unused waivers of the foreign residency requirement for certain J visa holders.
  • S.2725 (Van Hollen, D-MD) Would authorize the establishment of the US-ASEAN Center to support U.S. economic and cultural engagement with Southeast Asia.
  • S.2726 (Lankford, R-OK) Would prohibit funding universities that provide support to the Chinese military.
  • S.J.Res.44 (Paul, R-KY) A joint resolution directing the removal of U.S. Armed Forces from hostilities in the Republic of Niger that have not been authorized by Congress.

Upcoming Congressional Hearings

House

Senate

WHO’S WHO

Arrivals

  • Birgitta Tazelaar, Ambassador of the Netherlands to the United States
  • Bryant Trick, Acting Assistant USTR for Europe and the Middle East
  • Daniel Hornung, National Economic Council Deputy Director
  • Melanie Higgins, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs
  • Thomas Bruns, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for the Middle East and Africa

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


UPCOMING EVENTS

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

Any issue areas you would like highlighted? Have a specific monitoring request? Reach out to us.