Skip to main content

International Issues Update 2023/10

By March 10, 2023September 11th, 2023No Comments


  • Advising on climate change policies and events
  • Advancing client priorities in the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade
  • Assessing negotiations on the Global Arrangement on Sustainable Steel and Aluminum

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:

  • March 7: Assistant USTR for Small Business, Market Access, and Industrial Competitiveness Sushan Demirjian, Global Arrangement on Steel and Aluminum, the Inflation Reduction Act, and supply chain issues

Upcoming WIBC events:

  • March 21: Special Representative for Subnational Diplomacy Ambassador Nina Hachigian, Subnational economic diplomacy and the upcoming Cities Summit of the Americas
  • March 28: Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for North America Rachel Poynter, North American political and economic cooperation

IMPORTANT:   Please see our new website at, where you can also access our client portal.  We have updated client portal access passcodes for the new website. Contact Alix Hess for access information.

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



The opening sessions of the annual National People’s Congress and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference were held this week. These sessions officially set the state leadership roles following last fall’s CCP Congress and provide insight into the policy priorities and preferences of the CCP’s leadership. 

Rising tensions between China and the United States were prominent during the meetings. President Xi notably warned that the United States was seeking “all-round containment, encirclement and suppression against” China, while the new Foreign Minister Qin Gang remarked that “there will surely be conflict and confrontation… [and] catastrophic consequences” if the United States maintains its current Taiwan and China policies. However, outgoing Premier Li Keqiang softened his government’s rhetoric regarding Taiwan in his report, highlighting cultural and economic engagement rather than conflict in managing future relations with the ROC. 

Following several years of curtailing the autonomy of private industry, President Xi sought to strike a more welcoming tone towards private sector investment in his remarks. Xi stressed that China will continue to pursue advanced manufacturing, despite U.S. opposition, calling the sector “critical” and noting “we can’t rely on international markets to save us.” China additionally announced a 5% growth target for the coming year. This relatively modest figure may reflect an anticipation of potential economic headwinds, including high levels of municipal government debt limiting infrastructure spending. 

The State Council also announced major reorganizations of the science, technology, and finance regulators to improve the country’s science and technology competitiveness.

Contact: Ethan Knecht, Pat Sheehy


President Biden was scheduled to meet with European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen at the White House on March 10.  The two are reportedly set to address European concerns over the Inflation Reduction Act’s (IRA) electric vehicle tax credits through an announcement on critical minerals supply chains.  The two leaders are also expected to confer over support for Ukraine and address challenges posed by the People’s Republic of China. Senate Finance Committee leaders sent a letter this week calling on President Biden to address EU digital trade policies. 

On March 9, the European Commission announced a relaxation of rules against state aid to promote the development of green technologies.  This decision allows EU Member States to further support measures needed for the transition towards a net-zero industry, such as schemes for accelerating the rollout of renewable energy and energy storage and for the decarbonisation of industrial production processes, which Member States may now set up until December 31, 2025.

Contact: Stephen Ziehm

Latin America

Both the United States and Canada requested formal USMCA technical consultations with Mexico on its agricultural biotechnology policies, specifically import restrictions on genetically modified corn. Agriculture Secretary Vilsack also issued a statement warning that the United States. would “pursue all necessary steps to enforce our rights under the USMCA to ensure that U.S. producers and exporters have full and fair access to the Mexican market.” In response, Mexico’s Economy Ministry defended its policy, arguing it aligned with USMCA’s requirements.

U.S. Trade Representative Tai announced that the United States and Brazil would revitalize their Agreement on Trade and Economic Partnership (ATEC) while traveling to Brazil on March 7-9. The two sides also announced they will likely hold an ATEC meeting later this year, discussed WTO reform, and stated that their technical teams would develop a work program on resilient supply chains, clean technology investment, labor, and “shared prosperity.”  Brazil is not a participant in the Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity (APEP) negotiation the United States has launched with trading partners in Latin America.

Contact: Stephen Ziehm, Ethan Knecht

Quick takes

  • Saudi Arabia and Iran announced a restoration of diplomatic relations in an agreement brokered by the People’s Republic of China.
  • USAID released a new Acquisition and Assistance (A&A) Strategy which aims to streamline the application and review process for humanitarian assistance. 
  • President Biden released his 2023 Budget on March 8. The White House issued a fact sheet detailing the budget’s funding for strategic competition with China and Russia and another detailing energy and climate priorities
  • Twelve Senators introduced legislation that would allow the Department of Commerce to establish a ‘comprehensive process’ to ban TikTok and other Chinese ICT platforms and products. The White House issued a statement of support for the bill. 
  • During a visit to New Delhi, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo launched a Strategic Trade Dialogue with India which “will address export controls, explore ways of enhancing high tech commerce, and facilitate technology transfer between the two countries.”
  • The Director of National Intelligence (DNI) released the U.S. Intelligence Community’s Annual Threat Assessment, highlighting risks related to China, Russia, and regional powers and the security implications of transnational challenges such as climate change and health.


Federal Register Notices

Newly Introduced Legislation


  • H.R.1519 (Smith, R-NJ) Provides support to victims of foreign state misrepresentation to the World Health Organization.
  • H.R.1481 (Arrington, R-TX) Would limit the President’s authority to restrict crude oil exports through licensing requirements 
  • H.R.1471 (Omar, D-MN) Would encourage sanctions against foreign countries who violate human rights laws. 
  • H.R.1448 (Feenstra, R-IA) Prohibits investments by foreign adversaries in U.S. real estate suitable for renewable energy or renewable fuels production.
  • H.R.1433 (Wild, D-PA) Would suspend security assistance to the Philippines until certain military and police force reforms are made. 
  • H.R.1377 (Walberg, R-MI) Would increase U.S. representation in communications standards-setting bodies.
  • H.R.1368 (Schiff, D-CA) Would impose sanctions against China if they sell arms to Russia.
  • H.R.1357 (Meuser, R-PA) Would increase congressional oversight of Russia related sanctions.


  • S.770 (Blackburn, R-TN) Would provide defense article loans and leases for Taiwan.
  • S.763 (Barrasso, R-WY) Would prohibit low-enriched uranium imports from Russia.
  • S.686 (Warner, D-VA) Would authorize the Department of Commerce to review and prohibit certain telecommunication transactions between U.S. and foreign adversaries.
  • S.684 (Hawley, R-MO) Would prohibit land purchase by foreign entities. 
  • S.682 (Menendez, D-NJ) Would give diplomatic status to the ASEAN Secretariat.

Upcoming Congressional Hearings




  • Mr. Chris Slevin, Chief of Staff to the Secretary of Commerce
  • Ms. Jane Rhee, Chief of Staff to the DFC CEO and President
  • Ms. Jennifer McClellan, Member of the House of Representatives (D-VA)
  • Ms. Kendee Yamaguch, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for the U.S. Field
  • Mr. Salim Bhabhrawala, Department of Energy Director for Manufacturing and Energy Supply Chains

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


  • Eurogroup Ministers (Brussels), March 13
  • Senate is in session, House in recess, March 13-17
  • IPEF negotiations (Bali), March 13-19 
  • International Labor Organization Governing Body, March 13-23
  • EU Economic and Financial Affairs Council (Brussels), March 14
  • EU Environment Council (Brussels), March 16
  • Annual Meeting of the Inter-American Development Bank Governors (Panama), March 16-19

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