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International Issues Update 2023/41

By November 3, 2023No Comments


  • Clarifying new U.S. sanctions actions and their impact on client operations
  • Coordinating with the U.S. International Trade Commission on an upcoming public hearing in its emissions intensity investigation
  • Outreach to a U.S. Technical Advisory Group to the International Standards Organization (ISO)

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:

  • November 1: Commerce Deputy Chief IPEF Negotiator Eric Holloway, IPEF pillar II-IV trade priorities

Upcoming WIBC events:

  • November 8: Director of the OMB’s Made in America Office Livia Shmavonian, The Administration’s Made in America agenda
  • November 14: Director of the Labor Department’s Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking Marcia Eugenio, Eliminating forced labor in trade and global supply chains

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.


Latin America

President Biden will host leaders from eleven Latin American and Caribbean countries at the White House today for the inaugural Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity (APEP) Leaders’ Summit. The President is expected to use the summit to try to shift supply chains to the Hemisphere and address regional migration challenges. Prior to the Summit, President Biden met with the presidents of Chile and the Dominican Republic to discuss APEP, regional foreign policy challenges like Venezuela and Haiti, and international issues like Ukraine and Israel. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen also notably reaffirmed the administration’s commitment to working with the IDB to support “friendshoring” efforts at the Americas Partnership IDB Responsible Investment Forum.

Venezuela’s Supreme Court annulled the results of the opposition’s primary, which former legislator María Corina Machado, who had already been banned from office, overwhelmingly won. The Biden administration had given the Maduro regime a deadline of the end of November to release political prisoners and to set a timeline to reinstate opposition candidates. If the Maduro regime fails to uphold its side of the agreement, the administration has threatened to reimpose sanctions.

Contact: Ethan Knecht, Pat Sheehy

Artificial Intelligence

President Biden issued an Executive Order on October 30 providing a comprehensive administration strategy on artificial intelligence (AI). The order aims to set standards for safety and privacy while promoting the United States’ commercial advantage in AI through a coordinated whole of government effort.  Vice President Kamala Harris highlighted several AI initiatives during a policy speech in the United Kingdom, including the establishment of the United States AI Safety Institute inside the Commerce Department’s NIST and the first-ever draft policy guidance on the use of AI by the U.S. government.

To ensure security, the order leverages the Defense Production Act (DPA) to require that any firm producing certain AI models with national security implications make reports on their actions to the Department of Defense.   The order also seeks to ensure U.S. labor benefits from AI and is not displaced by the technology, mandating a report on AI’s potential labor-market impacts, and study and identifying options for federal support for workers facing labor disruptions. Finally, the order seeks to promote U.S. industry by promoting R&D activity and streamlining immigration procedures for skilled workers.

Contact: Pat Sheehy


U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai cited a “whole-of-government effort” to deliver on U.S.  commitments made at last December’s U.S. – Africa Leaders Summit in remarks on November 3 to the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum in South Africa.   Ambassador Tai stressed a “forward-looking vision” for U.S.-Africa trade, following President Biden’s November 1 statement supporting Congressional reauthorization beyond 2025 of the AGOA program, which provides duty-free tariff preferences to imports from African countries.  

On October 30, President Biden announced that the United States would be removing the Central African Republic, Gabon, Niger, and Uganda from AGOA on January 1, 2024 due to a failure to meet eligibility requirements.  Gabon and Niger’s AGOA eligibility will be terminated due to unconstitutional changes of government in those two countries. USTR cited gross violations of internationally recognized human rights being perpetrated by the governments of the Central African Republic and Uganda.  Mauritania’s eligibility will be reinstated based on progress that it has made with respect to the 2019 termination of its benefits due to worker rights concerns.   

Contact: Stephen Ziehm


The Senate passed their first three appropriation bills – Senate Military Construction-VA (S 2127), Agriculture (S 2131) and Transportation-HUD (S 2437) – with 12 legislative days remaining before Federal Government funding runs out. Unless House and Senate leaders can overcome major differences, then Congress will likely have to pass another short-term continuing resolution to avoid a government shutdown on November 17. An approved amendment attached to the minibus appropriations bill would prohibit the Federal Aviation Administration from spending unmanned aircraft system (UAS) funds at any entity that does business in China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela or Cuba.  Senate Agriculture Committee leaders are focused on using the expected short-term funding extension as a vehicle to pass a one-year Farm bill extension to allow more time to finalize a 5-year reauthorization. 

The House on November 2 passed a  $14.3 billion aid bill for Israel’s war with Hamas, tying the funding to spending cuts. The White House issued a statement stating the President would veto the House bill. The Senate plans to craft its own bill that will include aid for Ukraine and Gaza. The House also passed sanctions legislation targeting Iran’s support for Hamas.  

Contact: Chris Benscher

Quick takes

  • A seventh round of negotiations on the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) will be held from November 5-12 in San Francisco ahead of the APEC Summit.  U.S. officials hope to finalize agreements on the trade, clean economy and fair economy pillars.   
  • The Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control imposed sanctions October 31 prohibiting U.S. persons from providing financial services to Burma’s Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) and other regime figures. The action is not a blanket transaction ban but may limit certain common commercial practices, such as extended payment terms. 
  • U.S. Climate Envoy John Kerry will meet with his Chinese counterpart this weekend ahead of COP28 and President Biden’s meeting with President Xi. The meeting comes at a moment of increased dialogue between Beijing and Washington, with Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s October 27 meetings with President Biden, Secretary Blinken, and NSA Sullivan, State DAS Lambert’s November 3 trip to Beijing for the China-US Maritime Consultation mechanism, and the first nuclear weapons talks since the Obama Administration November 5. 
  • Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) introduced legislation promoting a “Foreign Pollution Fee” to discourage imports of more pollution-intensive, foreign-produced goods.  The proposed tariff would affect energy products like natural gas, oil, hydrogen, minerals, solar panels, and wind turbines and industrial products like aluminum, cement, glass, iron, steel, petrochemicals, and paper.  Cassidy says his bill would serve to prevent China’s gaming of the European Union’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM).
  • Australia and the EU failed to reach a free trade agreement over the weekend at the G7 trade ministers’ meeting in Japan, ending five years of negotiations. The sticking point for negotiations is reportedly that Australia is unhappy about EU demands on geographical indicators for cheese and the EU’s failure to open its market to beef and lamb imports.


Federal Register Notices

Newly Introduced Legislation


  • H.R.6113 (Banks, R-IN) – Would make emergency supplemental appropriations for assistance for the situation in Israel for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2024.
  • H.R.6114 (Banks, R-IN) – Would impose additional sanctions with respect to Iran and modify other existing sanctions with respect to Iran.
  • H.R.6126 (Granger, R-TX) – Would make emergency supplemental appropriations to respond to the attacks in Israel for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2024.
  • H.R.6152 (Johnson, R-SD-At Large) – Would require the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to update the modeling used for lifecycle greenhouse gas assessments for approved fuel pathways under the Renewable Fuel Standard.
  • H.R.6153 (Kim, R-CA) – Would provide for a review of sanctions with respect to Hong Kong.
  • H.R.6165 (Owens, R-UT) – Would amend the Higher Education Act to require disclosure of certain foreign investments within endowments.
  • H.R.6181 (Castro, D-TX) – Would authorize the Secretary of State to support the establishment of an ASEAN Center in the United States.
  • H.R.6182 (Castro, D-TX) – Would extend and modify a pilot program to improve cyber cooperation with foreign military partners in Southeast Asia.
  • H.R.6201 (Pfluger, R-TX) – Would establish and authorize funding for an Iranian Sanctions Enforcement Fund to enforce United States sanctions with respect to Iran and its proxies and pay off the United States public debt and to codify the Export Enforcement Coordination Center.
  • H.Res.830 (Garcia, R-CA) – Condemns the Chinese Communist Party for its role in the fentanyl crisis and urges the Biden administration to take certain actions to combat the flow of fentanyl precursors from China to North America.


  • S.3164 (Budd, R-NC) – Would state the policy of the United States with respect to religious freedom in the People’s Republic of China.
  • S.3168 (Marshall, R-KS) – Would make emergency supplemental appropriations for assistance for the situation in Israel for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2024.
  • S.3177 (Sullivan, R-AK) – Would provide for a review of sanctions with respect to Hong Kong.
  • S.3192 (Daines, R-MT) – Would designate Ansarallah as a foreign terrorist organization and impose certain sanctions on Ansarallah, and for other purposes.
  • S.3198 (Cassidy, R-LA) – Would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to impose a fee on certain products imported into the United States based on the pollution intensity associated with the production of such products.
  • S.3201 (Merkley, D-OR) – Would prohibit drilling in the Arctic Ocean.
  • S.3210 (Marshall, R-KS) – Would make emergency supplemental appropriations to respond to the attacks in Israel for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2024.

Upcoming Congressional Hearings





  • Cara Morrow, Senior Advisor to the U.S. Trade Representative
  • Caleb Crosswhite, Senate Agriculture Committee Minority Chief Counsel
  • Dan Ziegler, Policy Director to Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA)
  • Hayden Haynes, Chief of Staff to Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA)
  • Jack Lew, U.S. Ambassador to Israel
  • Krista Schwarz, Council of Economic Advisors Senior Economist


  • Jayme White, Deputy U.S. Trade Representative

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.