ON OUR DESKS
- Provided information on the impact of port delays on supply chains
- Conducted analysis on the state-level consideration of a low carbon fuel standard
- Advised on EU energy policy and Ukraine reconstruction funding
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:
- October 18: Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for the Middle East and Africa Camille Richardson, the business environment and commercial partnerships in Africa and the Middle East
Up next: Register for upcoming WIBC discussions here
- October 27: Deputy Head of Mission of the British Embassy James Roscoe, the United Kingdom’s economic and political relationship with the U.S.
WIBC discussions are open to WIBC members only. Not a member? Contact Christina for membership inquiries.
YOU NEED TO KNOW
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) opened its 20th Party Congress on October 16, with General Secretary Xi Jinping solidifying his control on the CCP and prioritizing political stability and national security over political and economic reform. Xi’s report for the opening of the Congress refrained from mentioning “political reform” for the first time since 1987. Xi’s defense of China’s “dynamic zero-COVID” strategy suggests that the country is unlikely to deviate from the disruptive policy in the near-term, while his remarks also reiterated his intent to take control of Taiwan by force if necessary.
At the end of the Congress, on October 23, the new Central Committee will reveal the Politburo Standing Committee (the seven most powerful leaders in the country). While it is not certain who will make the next PBSC, there are indications that political advisor Ding Xuexiang or Shanghai Party Secretary Li Qiang may be the next Premier, signaling Xi’s control of the party and the marginalization of factions that prioritize economic reform and growth.
China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has separately begun holding consultations with PRC semiconductor and supercomputer firms to determine the impact of broad U.S. export controls imposed on these sectors by the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS). The controls bar a swathe of U.S. exports to PRC computing firms and sharply curtail U.S. persons’ ability to support Chinese production of advanced semiconductors and computers. This restriction on support has reportedly caused a wave of resignations of U.S. personnel in senior positions within Chinese firms. Any PRC response will likely be delayed until the conclusion of the Congress.
U.S. Commerce Department personnel confirmed in a conference call with industry that the purpose of the controls reflect a shift in U.S. policy away from maintaining a relative technological advantage over competitors and towards denying adversaries resources and maximizing the U.S. technological advantage whenever possible.
Contact: Pat Sheehy, Ethan Knecht
EU Energy / Ukraine
In response to continuing economic pressures from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, EU leaders approved a series of measures on October 20 to control energy prices, including joint purchases of gas and limited price caps. They also approved in-principle a plan to provide Ukraine with 18 billion euros in financial support over the next year on October 21. Bloc finance ministers have now been tasked with implementing the decision. The funding is intended to allow Ukraine’s civil government to continue operating and stave off a refugee crisis caused by the destruction of Ukrainian infrastructure. EU President Von Der Layen stated that this sum is expected to meet roughly half of Ukraine’s needs, with the remainder coming from “our American friends and by the financial institutions.”
The U.S. Departments of Transportation and Commerce separately announced on October 19 a Joint Task Force with Ukraine to support Ukraine’s infrastructure resilience. The Task Force envisions a working-level meeting in the coming months to “enhance joint efforts to facilitate U.S. private sector involvement and implement the best of American and Ukrainian innovation in Ukraine’s reconstruction.” A G7 Conference on the reconstruction of Ukraine will be hosted in Berlin on October 25.
Contact: Pat Sheehy
Ten Senators and two House members sent separate letters urging USTR to protect U.S. intellectual property ahead of the mid-December decision by the World Trade Organization (WTO) on whether to expand the current waiver of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) for COVID-19 vaccines to also cover COVID-related diagnostics and therapeutics.
The bipartisan Senate letter asks for consultations by October 31, 2022 on USTR’s decision-making about a TRIPS waiver for diagnostics and therapeutics. At the WTO Ministerial Conference (MC12) in June 2022, WTO members agreed to waive TRIPS protections for COVID vaccine patents for five years and to make a decision on whether to expand the waiver to COVID-related diagnostics and therapeutics within six months.
The House letter, from Republican leaders of the Ways and Means Committee to USTR, asks for information by November 3, 2022 on the TRIPS waivers as outlined in H. Res 1285 and for USTR to preserve documentation on the waiver decision, citing a “disappointing and unacceptable” level of transparency.
Contact: Chris Benscher
- The Committee of Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) released its first-ever Enforcement and Penalty Guidelines on October 20. CFIUS scrutinizes inbound investment into the United States. The committee can impose conditions or mitigations on transactions of concern or, in the most severe cases, block or unwind transactions. The document outlines how CFIUS will manage violations of these requirements or attempts to illegally evade its scrutiny.
- The EU released its 2023 Programme of Work on October 19, laying out the Commission’s broad plans for the coming year. The document calls for the continued support for Ukraine and the modernization of the EU’s sanctions and investment controls. It also highlights climate, high technology and the digital economy, improved labor conditions, FTAs, anti corruption efforts, and improved member state implementation of EU law as key priorities.
- The White House released its National Biodefense Strategy on October 18. The strategy aims to prepare for future pandemics and biosecurity incidents by catalyzing international cooperation on testing, vaccines, and therapeutics on aggressive timelines.
- The Department of Transportation and other agencies have requested and received Buy America waivers for infrastructure projects establishing an EV charging station network.
NOTICES, BILLS & HEARINGS
Federal Register Notices
- Commerce/BIS, Information systems technical advisory committee, October 18
- State, Defense trade advisory group, October 17
- Treasury/OFAC, Libya sanctions designations, October 21
- Treasury/OFAC, Angola sanctions designations, October 20
- Treasury/OFAC, Somalia sanctions designations, October 20
- USAID, Partnership for Peace advisory board, October 17
- USCESRC, National security implications of the economic relationship between U.S. and China, October 18
- USTR, Section 301 investigation: China’s acts, policies, and practices, October 17
- Ashley Schapitl, Senior Policy Advisor on the Senate Finance Committee
- Chris Arneson, Chief Budget and Economic Advisor on the Senate Finance Committee
- Harry Mourtos, Acting CISA Deputy Chief of Cyber Assessments
- Kay Fallon, Acting DHS Deputy Chief of Staff
- Nimi Uberoi, Treasury Department Senior Advisor for Climate and Tax Implementation
- Sloane Speakman, Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Defense for Taiwan Policy
Want more scoops on personnel moves? Find the most recent Who’s Who here.
- Slovenian Presidential Elections, October 23
- Environment Council meeting on COP 27 (Brussels), October 23
- 2022 OSCE Mediterranean Conference (Jordan), October 24-25
- ASEAN Senior officials’ meeting on education (Siam Reap), October 25-26
- ASEAN “Inclusive Business Summit ” (Hybrid/Siem Reap), October 26-27
- G20 Health Ministerial (Bali), October 27-28
- EU Committee of Permanent Representatives (Brussels), October 28
- Brazilian presidential runoff, October 30
- International Labor Organization Governing Body (Geneva), October 30-November 10
Looking farther ahead? Find the most recent full international events calendar here.