ON OUR DESKS
- Working with WIBC clients to survey 2023 priorities and service needs
- Briefing clients on export restrictions and Russia developments
- Developing client participation strategies and supporting side events for the UN Climate Summit (COP27)
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:
- September 23: Treasury Director of Foreign Assets Control Andrea Gacki, U.S. sanctions agenda
Up next: Register for upcoming WIBC discussions here
- September 27: State Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Camille Dawson, U.S. political and economic priorities in East Asia
*Please note that WIBC’s usual conference room is under construction during the month of September, so we are using alternate venues. Please pay careful attention to the locations for each event.
WIBC discussions are open to WIBC members only. Not a member? Contact Christina for membership inquiries.
YOU NEED TO KNOW
UN General Assembly (UNGA)
With UNGA fully in-person for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic, world leaders descended on New York City for the UNGA plenary and multiple side events, including a food security ministerial. The lingering pandemic generally took a back seat to discussions of the war in Ukraine, energy and climate, global hunger, and other pressing matters.
The United States convened a Global Food Security Summit September 20 and issued a joint declaration with Spain, the African Union, the European Union, Colombia, Germany, Indonesia, and Nigeria focused on stepping up humanitarian financing, avoiding unjustified trade restrictions, and increasing investments in science-based agricultural innovations. President Biden announced $2.9 billion in food security assistance funding during his September 21 UNGA plenary address. Relatedly, USDA announced on September 14 $2.8 billion in grant funding for Climate-Smart Commodities, aimed at reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.
Other key UNGA happenings include a ministerial meeting of the Security Council to consider the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Ministers from France, Britain, and the U.S. condemned the invasion and argued that Russia bears sole responsibility for rising energy and food prices. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov staged a walkout. President Biden also announced U.S. support for expansion of the Security Council to include representatives from the global south.
Contact: Steve Ziehm
Fiscal and monetary policy
Central banks around the world continue to raise interest rates in attempts to tamp down inflation. The Swiss National Bank’s September 22 interest rate hike ended Europe’s period of negative interest rates after inflation hit 3.5% in Switzerland last month. Japan is now the last major economy with negative interest rates, after the Bank of Japan decided to hold interest rates at -0.1% this week.
Meanwhile, new UK Prime Minister Liz Truss’ government announced a “mini-budget” that includes major individual income tax cuts, cancels planned increases in corporate taxes, and foresees significantly increased borrowing to pay for planned government spending in pursuit of renewed economic growth. The government’s plans were unveiled just one day after the Bank of England hiked interest rates by half a percentage point.
Contact: Chris Benscher
G20 Trade Ministerial
G20 trade, investment and industry ministers met September 21-23 in Bali, amid continuing high inflation and supply chain disruptions, among other challenges. The ministers issued a high-level statement expressing support for six priority issues to address global trade challenges, including WTO reforms and digital trade.
U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai convened on September 21 an informal dialogue on WTO dispute settlement reform, inviting views on possible improvements to the Appellate Body that the United States has blocked since 2019. At a WTO Dispute Settlement Body meeting this week, the United States said that the first step towards reform is to better understand the interests of all Members and not prejudge what a reformed system would look like, signaling the issue will not be settled shortly.
Prior to the G20 meeting, Ambassador Tai co-chaired a consultation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Economic Ministers (AEM) in Cambodia on the margins of the ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting. The ministers sought to work jointly in the context of Indonesia’s G20 Presidency under the theme “Recover Together, Recover Stronger”, Thailand as host of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) under the theme “Open. Connect. Balance.”, and the United States as host of APEC in 2023.
Contact: Steve Ziehm
- The United States and Paraguay met September 16 for the first time under their Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) finalized in March 2021, focusing on trade facilitation and agricultural trade.
- World Bank president David Malpass is reportedly under pressure to resign after making remarks some say minimize the threat of climate change.
- The Senate reached a rare bipartisan deal, belatedly ratifying and bringing the United States into an international agreement to phase out industrial chemicals commonly found in refrigerators and air-conditioners.
- Voting opened on September 23 in what the United States and allies have called “sham” referenda on Russia’s annexation of occupied territories in Ukraine. Annexation would likely prompt additional sanctions from both the United States and the EU. During Senate Banking hearings on September 20, witnesses urged price caps on Russian oil.
- After President Biden affirmed on September 18 that the United States would send forces to defend Taiwan in the event of any Chinese attack, CEOs of JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup testified to Congress that they would be prepared to pull investments out of China if so directed by the U.S. government.
- The Treasury Department issued a general license broadly allowing the export of certain internet and communications services to Iran, a move Secretary of State Antony Blinken described as “advanc[ing] Internet freedom and the free flow of information for the Iranian people.” The new license replaces more limited previous authorizations and is intended to remove pain points for industry.
NOTICES, BILLS & HEARINGS
Federal Register Notices
- EOP, CFIUS Reviews, September 20
- ITA, Advisory Committee on Supply Chain Competitiveness, September 21
- Treasury/OFAC, Iran Sanctions, September 19
- Treasury/OFAC, Narcotics Trafficking Sanctions, September 19
- Treasury/OFAC, Zimbabwe Sanctions, September 21
- Treasury/OFAC, Zimbabwe Sanctions, September 21
- H.R.8947 (Waltz, R-FL) Would prevent Iran sanction waivers.
- H.R.8911 (Calvert, R-CA) Requires report on Russian and Chinese mining investments.
- H.R.8906 (Wasserman-Schultz, D-FL) Retroactively applies GSP preferential treatment.
- S.4937 (Rubio, R-FL) Prohibits U.S. recognition of Russia’s Ukraine sovereignty claim.
- S.4930 (Peters, D-MI) Prohibits procurement from companies operating in Russia.
- S.4924 (Ernst, R-IA) Would prevent Iran sanction waivers.
Upcoming Congressional Hearings
- Climate Crisis: Inflation Reduction Act’s climate provisions, September 29, 1:30pm.
- Foreign Relations: Sanctions on Russia, September 28, 10:00am.
- Banking: Outbound investment, September 29, 10:00am.
- Martina Anna Tkadlec Strong, U.S. Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates
- Begzat Bix Aliu, U.S. Ambassador to Montenegro
- Lynne Tracy, U.S. Ambassador to Russia
- Roger Nyhus, U.S. Ambassador to Barbados, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines
- Bede Corry, Ambassador of New Zealand to the U.S.
- Kristin Lynch, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Treasury for Public Affairs
- Dina Esposito, Acting Assistant to the Administrator for the Bureau of Resilience and Food Security (RFS) at USAID, Feed the Future Deputy Coordinator for Development, and USAID’s new Global Food Crisis Coordinator.
- Ariel Dorsey, USTR Director of Innovation and Intellectual Property
Want more scoops on personnel moves? Find the most recent Who’s Who here.
- EU Ag and Fisheries Council (Brussels), September 26
- IAEA General Conference (Vienna), September 26-30
- Senate and House in session, September 28-30
- International Telecommunications Union Plenipotentiary Conference (Bucharest), September 26-October 14
- G20 Agriculture Ministerial (Bali), September 27-29
- Deadline to pass FY2023 federal budget reconciliation and appropriations, September 30
Looking farther ahead? Find the most recent full international events calendar here.