ON OUR DESKS
- Reviewing implementation of Buy American Executive Order 14005
- Analyzing proposed funding levels in upcoming congressional appropriations
- Advising on outlook for sanctions and customs restrictions
- Reporting on U.S. security relationship and commercial history with a SE Asian country
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 27: State Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Camille Dawson, U.S. political and economic priorities in East Asia
Up next: Register for upcoming WIBC discussions here
- October 6: Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Japan, Korea, and APEC Michael Beeman, APEC Leaders Summit and U.S. Asia-Pacific priorities
WIBC discussions are open to WIBC members only. Not a member? Contact Christina for membership inquiries.
YOU NEED TO KNOW
President Biden hosted the first ever U.S.- Pacific Island Country Summit in Washington on September 28-29, seeking to strengthen relations in light of a “worsening climate crisis and an increasingly complex geopolitical environment.” Participating heads of state and senior representatives issued a joint Declaration on U.S.-Pacific Partnership focused on enhancing economic cooperation. The U.S. Roadmap for a 21st-Century U.S.-Pacific Island Partnership announced during the Summit commits more than $810 million in development funding and establishes a new Trade and Investment Dialogue with the Pacific Islands to be launched by the end of 2022 and “credibly target” market access barriers in 2023.
The U.S. Trade Representative’s Office released on September 23 the administration’s negotiating goals for the “connected economy (trade) pillar” of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF). The document largely reiterates previously-stated high-level goals to include commitments on: labor; environment; digital economy; trade facilitation; agriculture; competition policy; transparency and good regulatory practices; inclusivity; and technical assistance and economic cooperation.
Vice President Kamala Harris traveled to Japan to attend the state funeral of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. She met with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and other regional leaders on issues of regional security and hosted a meeting with senior executives from the Japanese semiconductor industry. Harris then traveled to South Korea to meet with President Yoon Suk Yeol and visited the demilitarized zone.
Contact: Steve Ziehm
Russian President Vladimir Putin on September 30 effectively annexed Russian-occupied territories in Ukraine, following referenda that the United States, EU, and broader international community have refused to recognize as legitimate. The move is expected to push the EU closer to an eighth package of sanctions which could include an oil price cap, new export controls and sanctions, and import restrictions on goods from Russia. Hungary has said it will oppose any new energy sanctions. EU actions may also be influenced by ongoing investigations into potential sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines.
The United States responded with additional Treasury Department sanctions designations, Commerce Department entity listings, State Department visa restrictions, and changes to more “aggressively” enforce sanctions on parties in third countries who support Russia, including parties in Belarus, Armenia, and China, with the potential for enforcement to become increasingly global in scope. President Biden committed to increase the “costs on individuals and entities — inside and outside of Russia — that provide political or economic support to illegal attempts to change the status of Ukrainian territory.”
Congressional action on Russia this week included a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on September 28. Senators from both parties called to restrict energy-related transactions by allowing the current general license (GL 8C) that allows energy-related transactions to continue with certain Russian banks, to expire on its scheduled date of December 5. Treasury Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes Elizabeth Rosenberg, without disclosing their plans, suggested GL 8C could play a role in the proposed price-cap on Russian energy being considered by members of the G7.
The Senate Homeland Security Committee approved a bill that would limit federal procurement from companies operating in Russia, with significant exceptions. Similar provisions are contained in the House NDAA, but neither set of such restrictions are likely to advance in their current form.
Contact: Pat Sheehy, Chris Benscher
White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health
On September 28, President Biden for the first time in more than 50 years convened a White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health and released a National Strategy to end hunger and increase physical activity by 2030. The administration announced its intent to develop interpretive front-of-package (FOP) food nutrition labels and roll out new sodium and sugar reduction targets for processed foods.
Relatedly, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is accepting public comments until December 28, 2022 on a proposed rule revising the definition of “healthy” as a labeling claim to impose new limits on saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars.
Contact: Steve Ziehm
- Congress funded the U.S. federal government through mid-December, staving off a shutdown and sending an additional $12.3 billion in military and economic aid to Ukraine.
- The UK’s economic and political landscape continued to be shaken by new Prime Minister Liz Truss’ dramatic “mini-budget” announced last week. The pound slid sharply, interest rates, surged, and Truss’ Tory party ended the week at a new low against the opposition – down 33 points against the Labour party in the latest polling.
- Eurozone inflation hit a record 10%, increasing pressure on the European Central Bank to increase interest rates.
- Italy’s right-wing coalition elected September 25 and new Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni are expected to adopt a “Eurosceptic Atlanticism” approach to foreign policy, for example by continuing to support NATO but pushing back on EU integration.
- Senators Cornyn (R-TX) and Casey (D-PA) urged President Biden to use executive action to establish enhanced review of outbound investment to foreign adversaries.
NOTICES, BILLS & HEARINGS
Federal Register Notices
- Homeland Security/CBP, Importers of merchandise subject to actual use, September 30
- Treasury/OFAC, Iran sanctions designations, September 28
- Treasury/OFAC, Russia sanctions designations, September 28
- Treasury/OFAC, Central African Republic sanctions, September 29
- Treasury/OFAC, Western Balkans stabilization regulations, September 29
- USTR, Hearing on Russia’s implementation of WTO commitments, September 30
- H.R.9010 (McCaul, R-TX) Would develop U.S. policy toward Taiwan.
- H.R.8982 (DelBene, D-WA) Would suspend import duties on some infant formula base powder.
- S.4989 (Ernst, R-IA) Require a DOD feasibility report on terminating energy procurement from foreign entities of concern.
- S.4987 (Grassley, R-IA) Would require NGOs to disclose foreign funding.
- S.4937 (Rubio, R-FL) Would prohibit U.S. Government recognition of Russia’s sovereignty claims.
- Doreen Bogdan-Martin, International Telecommunications Union Secretary-General
- Frankie Reed, U.S. Envoy to the Pacific Islands Forum
- Kris Skrzycki, Chief of Staff to Representative Greg Murphy (R-NC)
- Reina Irene Mejía Chacón, Interim President of the Inter-American Development Bank
- Zoë Baird, Senior Counselor for Technology and Economic Growth to the Secretary of Commerce
- Algene Sajery, DFC Vice President for External Affairs
- Corey Jacobson, Legislative Director to Representative Ted Lieu (D-CA)
- Mauricio Claver-Carone, President of the Inter-American Development Bank
- Rex Booth, Director of Stakeholder Engagement for the National Cyber Director
Want more scoops on personnel moves? Find the most recent Who’s Who here.
- Latvian parliamentary elections, October 1
- Brazilian elections, October 2
- General elections in Brazil, October 2
- IAEA Board of Governors (Vienna), October 3
- Eurogroup meeting (Luxembourg), October 3
- Senate and House are in recess, October 3 – November 11
- EU Committee of Permanent Representatives meetings (Brussels), October 5 and 7
- OAS General Assembly (Lima), October 5-7
- U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission meeting (Washington), October 6-7
Looking farther ahead? Find the most recent full international events calendar here.