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International Issues Update 2023/14

By April 7, 2023July 31st, 2023No Comments


  • Briefing executives on global and U.S. PFAS developments
  • Advising on latest developments in U.S.-China relations and business risks
  • Reporting on the Congressional trade agenda

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.


Upcoming WIBC events:

  • April 13: Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Base Development & International Engagement Justin McFarlin, Defense procurement priorities
  • April 18: Discussion with new U.S. Senior Trade Representative to the EU Rufino Hurtado

REMINDER: Our client portal, WIBC calendar, and other resources, are now available at Contact Alix Hess for password.

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



House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) met with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen April 5 in Los Angeles, leading a bipartisan delegation that included the co-chairs of the House select committee on China. McCarthy reportedly originally intended to visit Taiwan. A separate bipartisan Congressional delegation led by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Michael McCaul (R-TX) is expected to meet with Tsai April 8 in Taipei. 

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that President Tsai’s transiting of the United States was “private,” “unofficial,” and nothing new.” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said, “There’s no reason for the Chinese to overreact in any way.” Nevertheless, China said the meeting undermined its “sovereignty and territorial integrity.” The meeting is reportedly among the reasons China has been largely non-responsive as the United States has attempted to refresh diplomatic communications in a period of increased tension.

In contrast, French President Emmanuel Macron conducted a high-profile state visit to Beijing, and European Commission President Von der Leyen also visited China, urging Chinese President Xi Jinping to speak with Russian President Vladimir Putin about ending hostilities in Ukraine. President Macron’s visit included finalizing deals on major construction projects, as well as on aircraft, cosmetics, financial products, and pork exports. 

Contact: Chris Benscher, Pat Sheehy, and Ethan Knecht

Group of 7 (G7)

G7 trade ministers met virtually on April 4 (their first meeting in 2023) for a discussion focused on economic security. Without identifying specific countries, ministers pledged to combat “pervasive and harmful industrial subsidies, market-distortive practices of state-owned enterprises, and all forms of forced technology transfer.” They also highlighted supply chain diversification as a response to the exploitation of “economic interdependence for illegitimate political gains” and affirmed the use of export controls as a response to shared challenges.

In advance of the May 19 G7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan will host a series of nine additional ministerials. Environment and energy ministers will meet April 15-16 in Sapporo and are reportedly considering endorsing investment in liquified natural gas (LNG), “in line with climate objectives and commitments.” Japan has called LNG a “transitional fuel” to cleaner energy that could be needed for at least 10-15 years.

Foreign ministers will meet April 16 in Karuizawa; agriculture ministers April 22 in Miyazaki; and finance ministers and central bank governors May 11-13 in Niigata.

Contact: Chris Benscher, Pat Sheehy, and Ethan Knecht

Latin America

Mexican President Manuel Lopez Obrador hosted leaders from 11 Latin American and Caribbean countries for a virtual summit on confronting inflation and rising cost of living in the region. The countries agreed to “remove obstacles, tariffs, sanitary measures… with the purpose of getting food and basic products at a better price.” 

According to a joint declaration, the 11 countries will establish a technical working group to harmonize sanitary and phytosanitary guidelines, remove trade barriers, improve efficiency at points of entry, promote multilateral financing measures, and encourage technology transfer. Mexico also plans to host an in-person summit between regional government and business leaders May 6-7 in Cancún, followed shortly thereafter by a planned South American summit to be hosted by Brazilian President Lula da Silva in Brasilia at the end of May.

Adding further momentum to these moves for regional unity, Argentina and Brazil announced they will rejoin the Union of South American Nations (Unasur). Argentine President Alberto Fernandez said he is lobbying his Chilean counterpart to rejoin, as well. The pan-South American organization had become essentially defunct after seven of the founding members withdrew from the organization in 2018. 

Contact: Ethan Knecht

Quick takes

  • In advance of her planned travel to Sweden May 30-31 for the fourth U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council (TTC) meeting, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo called on EU countries to put aside “initial hurt feelings” over the Inflation Reduction Act and cooperate on shared challenges like climate change and supply chain resiliency. 
  • Large oil producers led by Saudi Arabia unexpectedly announced on April 2 they will cut production starting in May, increasing oil prices and prompting the United States to reiterate concerns about oil prices’ impact on inflation. 
  • USTR’s 2023 National Trade Estimate devotes substantial space to impediments in China, particularly to agricultural trade. 
  • House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) invited South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol to address a joint meeting of Congress to mark the 70th anniversary of the U.S.-South Korea alliance.
  • The U.S. Export Import-Bank is accepting applications, including from the private sector, for membership in several advisory committees and councils, covering overall advisory functions, sub-Saharan Africa, climate, China competition, small business, and advancing women in business. 
  • The United States announced on March 31 its intent to open an embassy in the Republic of Vanuatu, subject to Congressional approval. 


Federal Register Notices

Newly Introduced Legislation


  • H.R.2536 (Steube, R-FL) Would prohibit the importation of fresh citrus fruits from China.
  • H.R.2531 (Schneider, D-FL) Would extend authority to maintain U.S.-Israel cooperation on anti-tunnel defense capabilities.
  • H.R.2511 (Ogles, R-TN) Would prohibit U.S. foreign assistance to countries who do not recognize the sovereignty of Taiwan.
  • H.Res.274 (Keating, D-MA) Would call on U.S. companies to leave Russia.

Upcoming Congressional hearings




  • Ambassador Eric Garcetti, U.S. Ambassador to India
  • Ms. Heather Evans, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Manufacturing
  • Dr. Laura Taylor-Kale, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Base Policy
  • Mr. Rich Verma, Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources


  • Mr. Ben Harris, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy
  • Mr. David Bonine, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Senate Affairs
  • Ms. Monica Medina, Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs

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


  • Congress in recess, April 10-14
  • UN 77th Session of the General Assembly, April 10-14
  • IMF/World Bank 2023 Spring Meetings (Washington DC), April 10-16
  • President Biden travels to Ireland and the United Kingdom, April 11-14
  • G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Meeting (Washington), April 12-13
  • G7 Climate Ministers Meeting (Sapporo), April 15-16
  • G7 Foreign Ministers Meeting (Karuizawa), April 16-19
  • U.S.-Kenya Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations (Kenya), April 17-20
  • G7 Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting (Miyazaki), April 22-23
  • G7 Labor Ministers’ Meeting (Kurashiki), April 22-23
  • G7 Digital Issues Ministers’ Meeting (Takasaki), April 29-30

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