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International Issues Update 2023/36

By September 29, 2023No Comments


  • Preparing client submissions on trade barriers for the 2023 National Trade Estimate (NTE) 
  • Drafting comments on proposed recycled content and labeling rules in Canada
  • Facilitating clients’ diplomatic engagements

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.


Upcoming WIBC Events:

  • October 5: Canadian Minister Counsellor for Economic and Trade Policy Carlos Vanderloo, U.S.-Canada relations and Canada’s economic and trade priorities
  • October 11: State Department Senior Advisor to the Special Presidential Climate Envoy Trigg Talley, U.S. COP28 priorities
  • Special Brussels convening October 11: Senior U.S. Trade Representative to the European Union Rufino Hurtado and European Commission official (TBC), Drivers, dynamics, and developments in transatlantic trade
    You are welcome to forward the invitation to this in-person program in Brussels to appropriate colleagues. Email for details.

REMINDER: Our client portal, WIBC calendar, and other resources are available at

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



The United States and China announced on September 22 establishment of two new working groups focused on economic and financial issues, both led on the U.S. side by the Treasury Department and largely replacing the Strategic and Economic Dialogue previously terminated by the Trump administration. The announcement follows establishment of Commerce-led working groups on commercial issues and export controls. 

Amid continuing signs of economic malaise, China will reportedly replace finance minister Liu Kun with Lan Fo’an, a former provincial governor with little macroeconomic experience but strong connections with more senior economic officials like Vice Premier He Lifeng.  This is the third ministerial-level shakeup in as many months, following the dismissal of Foreign Minister Qin Gang and the ongoing disappearance of Defense Minister Li Shangfu. Other economic moves include proposals to loosen cross-border data-security controls.

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai’s September 22 Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) speech focused on WTO reform, and on September 27 President Xi convened a meeting of high-level officials on the same topic, saying China will participate “comprehensively and deeply” in WTO reform. He urged his subordinates to continue improving the business climate while still “safeguarding” the PRC’s security.  

Contact: Ethan Knecht, Pat Sheehy


House Republicans passed three spending bills – Defense (HR 4365), Homeland Security (HR 4367) and State-Foreign Operations (HR 4665) – ahead of a looming government shutdown. The House also voted to provide $300 million to Ukraine (HR 5692), money that was stripped out of the Defense spending bill to allow for a stand-alone vote on Ukraine aid. An agriculture spending bill (HR 4368) failed to win a majority. 

A one-month stopgap funding measure (HR 5525), which passed the House rules committee, would reduce funding by 29.9% for most non-defense agencies and is not expected to pass the Senate, even if it were to pass in the House. 

Many government agencies are planning scaled-down operations if Congress fails to pass a continuing resolution to fund the government by September 30. 

Contact: Chris Benscher


Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States issued joint guidance on export control enforcement identifying high priority items critical to Russian weapons systems and alerting industry to the risk of diversion or smuggling. The items identified fall into priority tiers, with microelectronics a major focus, but common industrial and consumer items are also featured. 

New Commerce and Treasury sanctions aimed at Russia, Iran, and China include Treasury’s September sanctions on a transnational network supporting Iran’s one-way attack unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) program, associated with battlefield use by Russia in Ukraine. Commerce on September 25 placed 28 entities based in China, Russia, Pakistan, Finland, Oman, Germany, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on the Entity List, prohibiting them from receiving most U.S. exports without a license. The restricted entities have engaged in UAV development for use against Ukraine, Pakistani nuclear proliferation, and smuggling of advanced components for use by Russia. 

Contact: Pat Sheehy

Quick takes

  • Testifying before the House Foreign Services Committee, SEC Chairman Gary Gensler indicated that finalization of climate disclosure rules could slip as late as May 2024.
  • President Biden will host on October 20 the second U.S.-EU Summit since he took office, expected to continue transatlantic negotiations on critical minerals, as well as sustainable steel and aluminum.
  • Commerce issued final rules for national security guardrails on CHIPS Act semiconductor funding, prohibiting funding recipients from expanding capacity in foreign countries of concern (including China) for ten years and restricting certain joint research or technology licensing efforts.
  • During the September 25-26 U.S.-Pacific Islands Forum Summit, the United States established diplomatic relations with Niue and the Cook Islands, announced expanded diplomatic and consular presence in the region, and advanced climate cooperation, among other announcements. 
  • Incoming Mercosur president Paraguay said it will break off EU FTA negotiations if no deal is reached before Brazil’s Mercosur presidency ends December 6. Negotiations are set to restart in October, with the EU seeking to conclude negotiations by the end of the year.


Federal Register Notices

Newly Introduced Legislation


  • H.R.5659 (Posey, R-FL) – Would prohibit Federal research agencies from carrying out certain activities with certain countries.
  • H.R.5692 (Kean, R-NJ) – Would provide FY2024 supplemental appropriations to the Department of Defense (DOD) for assistance to Ukraine and establish the Office of the Special Inspector General for Ukraine Assistance.
  • H.R.5714 (Khanna, D-CA) – Would require the Comptroller General of the United States to report on the country of origin of end items and components procured by the Department of Defense.
  • H.R.5744 (Carbajal, D-CA) – Would create a Carbon Dividend Trust Fund to encourage market-driven innovation of clean energy technologies and market efficiencies 
  • H.R.5753 (Gallagher, R-WI) – Would reactivate and repurpose canceling funds to deter the Chinese Communist Party before such funds are extracted from the Department of Defense on October 1, 2023.
  • H.R.5766 (Miller, R-WV) – Would increase the rate of duty on ferro silicon produced in Russia and Belarus and to require a domestic production assessment before increasing rates of duty under the Suspending Normal Trade Relations with Russia and Belarus Act.
  • H.R.5791 (Davidson, R-OH) – Would require a comprehensive report that contains a U.S. strategy for involvement in Ukraine.
  • H.R.5800 (Jackson Lee, D-TX) – Would authorize the imposition of sanctions to combat the mass abduction of Ukrainian children to Russia and areas of Ukraine that are temporarily occupied by Russian forces.
  • H.R.5826 (Wilson, R-SC) – Would require a report on sanctions under the Robert Levinson Hostage Recovery and Hostage-Taking Accountability Act.


  • S.2930 (Lee, R-UT) – Would give the Federal Government exclusive authority to regulate the labeling of products made in the United States and introduced in interstate or foreign commerce.
  • S.2935 (Risch, R-ID) – Would prohibit any official action to recognize or normalize relations with any Government of Syria that is led by Bashar al-Assad.
  • S.2937 (Brown, D-OH) – Would increase the rate of duty on ferro silicon produced in Russia and Belarus and to require a domestic production assessment before increasing rates of duty under the Suspending Normal Trade Relations with Russia and Belarus Act.
  • S.2947 (Rubio, R-FL) – A bill to expand the transactions for which declarations may be required by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.
  • S.2952 (Kennedy, R-LA) – Would extend the African Growth and Opportunity Act.
  • S.2956 (Ossoff, D-GA) – Would support the work of the United States Security Coordinator to Israel and the Palestinian Authority in furthering coordination between Israelis and Palestinians.
  • S.2979 (Cassidy, R-LA) – Would increase the rate of duty on shrimp originating from India.
  • S.2992 (Cassidy, R-LA) – Would require the establishment of a joint task force to identify and eliminate barriers to agriculture exports of the United States.
  • S.2995 (Van Hollen, D-MD) – Would oppose any attempts by China to resolve Taiwan’s status by distorting the decisions, language, policies, or procedures of the organization.

Upcoming Congressional Hearings




  • Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
  • Bianca Majumder, Council on Environmental Quality Policy Adviser for Clean Energy and Infrastructure
  • Luke Bassett, Treasury Office of Inflation Reduction Act Implementation Senior Advisor and Director of Policy and Program Impact
  • Manpreet Teji, Domestic Policy Council Director for Immigration 
  • Rufino Hurtado, Senior U.S. Trade Representative to the European Union


  • Ana Rosa Quintana, GOP Staff Director for the House Western Hemisphere Subcommittee
  • Bharat Ramamurti, National Economic Council Deputy Director
  • Ryan Long, Senior Health Policy Advisor to Speaker McCarthy (R-CA)

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


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.