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International Issues Update 2023/1

By January 6, 2023July 31st, 2023No Comments


  • Conducting Congressional outreach regarding China Section 301 tariff review
  • Assessing business travel and visa backlogs impacting client conference
  • Developing strategies to address service trade barriers

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.


January 2023 schedule of events:

  • January 10: Treasury Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Development Finance and Policy Mathew Haarsager, Priorities for multilateral development bank reform and its effects on international business
  • January 12: State Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Dereck Hogan, U.S.-European political and economic relations
  • January 19: House Ways and Means Committee Republican Chief Trade Counsel Joshua Snead, Trade agenda for the 118th Congress
  • January 24: EU Delegation Head of Trade Michael Margherita, U.S.-EU trade opportunities and challenges, including priorities for the Trade and Technology Council

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



Chinese Ambassador to the United States Qin Gang has been named as China’s next foreign minister, leaving Xu Xueyuan now the Chargé d’Affaires. Foreign minister is a relatively weak role in the Chinese government, but some worry that Ambassador Qin’s time in Washington during a period of bilateral tension could influence him negatively going forward. Qin has indicated perhaps a more positive tone than expected, including by calling Secretary of State Anthony Blinken very shortly after his appointment and authoring a positive op-ed published in the Washington Post this week, lauding the global importance of a stable U.S.-China relationship.

In a New Year’s Eve address, President Xi Jinping emphasized economic growth as a foremost priority, continuing China’s rapid pivot away from COVID-19. Xi’s remarks echoed messaging from the December 2022 Central Economic Work Conference, where leaders noted that the country will pursue a proactive fiscal policy and “prudent” monetary policy in 2023, including by attempting to “attract and utilize foreign capital, widen market access, promote the opening-up of modern service industries, and grant foreign-funded enterprises national treatment.”

Contact: Pat Sheehy, Ethan Knecht


As the Biden administration enters its final two years and a new Congress is (partially) seated, departing Congressmen Representative Ron Kind (D-WI) and Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) issued five recommendations to “save trade.” The pair call for a return to negotiating comprehensive free trade agreements (including market access) under strengthened Trade Promotion Authority, as well as “reining in” executive “abuse” of tariff authorities, clarifying the legal process for the United States to withdraw from free trade agreements, and reaffirming the United States’ commitment to the World Trade Organization.

The Asia Society Policy Institute released a report co-authored by former Acting Deputy USTR Wendy Cutler and former Trump White House trade advisor Clete Willems laying out revisions they believe could allow the United States to enter the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Contact: Steve Ziehm, Chris Benscher

Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)

The Treasury Department outlined on December 29 its anticipated direction and upcoming IRS guidance on the process for determining whether vehicles qualify for IRA critical mineral and battery component tax credits. Treasury’s broad definition of free trade agreements in this context has come under fire from Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) who plans to introduce legislation blocking such an interpretation. These types of Treasury rules would not go into effect until after the IRS issues a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in March and conducts a comprehensive public comment review period.

Contact: Steve Ziehm, Chris Benscher

ESG disclosures

Climate-related financial disclosures will continue to draw attention in 2023, as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) preparing to finalize its proposed climate disclosure rules and the European Union implements its approved Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD). Congressional Republicans are expected to ramp up challenges about ESG materiality.

In its December 2022 meeting, the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) updated plans to complete two proposals in 2023 that would cover companies’ disclosures of climate-related risks to their business and broaden ISSB’s focus to include corporate reporting on biodiversity and other topics. The ISSB’s two proposed rules (General sustainability-related disclosures and Climate related disclosures) drew more than 1,300 comments in 2022, with many commenters expressing concern about coherence between various standards schemes.

Contact: Chris Benscher

Quick takes

  • The United States will continue to recognize the National Assembly elected in 2015 as the last remaining democratic institution in Venezuela, despite the Venezuelan opposition’s vote to dissolve Juan Guaido’s interim government and remove Guaido as interim president.
  • The State Department established on January 3 a new Office of the Special Envoy for Critical and Emerging Technology, led by former Obama administration National Security Council Director for Strategy and History Dr. Seth Center.
  • The United States’ first interagency Strategy on Global Women’s Economic Security highlights private sector partnerships and consultations as a key tool for implementing programs that foster equal access to education, innovation, quality jobs, and decent work.
  • Sweden assumed on January 1 the rotating Presidency of the EU Council and is expected to focus heavily on the war in Ukraine during its term.
  • Taiwan sought to join WTO consultations initiated by China challenging U.S. semiconductor export controls. 


Federal Register Notices



  • Alex Jacquez, Special Assistant to the President for Economic Development and Industrial Strategy
  • Andrew Miller, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Israeli-Palestinian Affairs
  • Seth Center, State Department Deputy Special Envoy for Critical and Emerging Tech


  • Brian McKeon, Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources
  • Dan Berkovitz, SEC General Counsel
  • Jarrett Blanc, State Department Deputy Special Envoy for Iran
  • Tim Wu, Special Assistant to the President for Competition and Tech Policy

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


  • Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Jose W. Fernandez travels to Seoul and Tokyo, January 9-11
  • North American Leaders summit (Mexico City), January 11
  • Prime Minister Kishida Fumio of Japan will visit Washington, January 13th
  • U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade negotiations (Taipei), January 14-17

Looking farther ahead? Find the most recent full international events calendar here.