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International Issues Update 2023/15

By April 14, 2023July 31st, 2023No Comments


  • Alerting clients to proposed amendments to the Basel Convention on transboundary movements of hazardous and other wastes
  • Analyzing client grant opportunities under the CHIPS Act and Defense Production Act 
  • Participating in U.S. government trade advisory committee discussions

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:

  • April 13: Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Base Development & International Engagement Justin McFarlin, Defense procurement priorities

Upcoming WIBC events:

  • April 20: Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Investment Security Brian Reissaus, Outlook for CFIUS policy and outbound investment review

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.



After a high-profile visit to China last week, French President Emmanuel Macron faced criticism over remarks about Taiwan, which he defended as consistent with France’s (and the EU’s) position in favor of the status quo. 

During a joint press conference on April 14 with Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang in Beijing, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock pointedly warned that “A military escalation in the Taiwan Strait, through which 50 percent of world trade flows every day, would be a horror scenario for the entire world.” Qin blamed Taiwan for heightened tensions. In the same press conference, Qin did offer the most senior assurances, yet, that China will not provide weapons to Russia for its war in Ukraine (as leaked  intelligence reports had indicated the two countries were considering). 

Meanwhile, senior U.S. Commerce Department officials traveled to Beijing this week to lay the groundwork for an expected trip by Secretary Gina Raimondo later this year, and Treasury Under Secretary for International Affairs Jay Shambaugh emphasized in an interview this week that there is “plenty of scope” for an economic relationship that benefits both countries. 

In a move that could foretell increased subsidies for Chinese exporters as Beijing seeks to revitalize economic growth, Chinese Premier Li Qiang called for provincial and local governments to take all measures necessary to stabilize and increase exports. The premier emphasized the importance of stabilizing exports to developed countries, though China is likely to also continue encouraging business expansion in Southeast Asia and elsewhere in the developing world.

Contact: Ethan Knecht, Pat Sheehy


President Biden visited Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland this week, marking the 25th anniversary of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement and voicing support for the Windsor Framework as “essential” for addressing the practical realities of Brexit. In meetings with UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Taoiseach of Ireland Leo Varadkar, President Biden discussed issues including support for Ukraine and challenges posed by the People’s Republic of China.  

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and European Commission Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis met April 13 in Washington to advance initiatives including a U.S.-EU critical minerals trade agreement and negotiations for the Global Arrangement on Sustainable Steel and Aluminum, which Dombrovskis described as building blocks for a “transatlantic green marketplace.” In remarks on April 12, Dombrovskis highlighted a proposed Transatlantic Initiative on Sustainable Trade to set common standards for specific green goods and technologies under the U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council (TTC). The next TTC ministerial is scheduled for the end of May in Sweden.  

Contact: Stephen Ziehm

IMF/World Bank

During the April 10-16 Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, the IMF released on April 11 its bi-annual World Economic Outlook, assessing that global growth will fall from 3.4% in 2022 to 2.8% in 2023. The dismal outlook was attributed to rising interest rates, Russia’s war in Ukraine, persistently high inflation (though predicted to decline from 8.7% in 2022 to 7% in 2023), and  volatility in the banking sector. The IMF also released on April 13 the Managing Director’s Global Policy Agenda, which similarly cautioned about “risky and uncertain” economic conditions and “rising fragmentation.” 

Meeting April 12 on the margins of the spring bank meetings, G7 finance ministers and central bank heads – joined by the heads of the IMF, World Bank, OECD, and the Financial Stability Board, as well as Ukrainian Finance Minister Sergii Marchenko – pledged to diversify concentrated clean energy supply chains (alluding to but not naming China), including through support to low- and middle-income countries.

Talks are ongoing with the Chinese government regarding compromise with the international financial institutions and Paris Club members on debt repayment from developing countries. Disputes over which institutions should receive a haircut have held up sovereign debt restructuring and IMF financing  in countries like Zambia and Suriname. Discussions on the topic were held Wednesday April 12 during a meeting of the Global Sovereign Debt Roundtable (GSDR). 

Contact: Steve Ziehm, Ethan Knecht, Pat Sheehy

Quick takes

  • Indonesia announced it will pursue a critical minerals agreement with the United States in order to qualify for IRA tax credits. Indonesia produces 37% of the world’s nickel, a critical component in batteries for electric vehicles.
  • The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) April 11 policy paper on critical raw materials emphasized that trade restrictions jeapordize the global green transition, highlighting increasing export restrictions from countries such as China, India, Vietnam, Russia, Argentina and Kazakhstan.  
  • OECD member states agreed to expand export credit support for climate-friendly and green projects, including through increased maximum repayment terms of up to 22 years, further repayment flexibilities, and adjusted minimum premium rates.
  • The Department of Health and Human Services announced a May 3 listening session and comment period in advance of the May 21-30 76th World Health Assembly (deadline to register for the session is April 20; deadline to submit comments is May 10).  


Federal Register Notices

Newly Introduced Legislation


  • H.R.2615 (Pappas, D-NH) Would exclude PFAS remediation reimbursements from gross income
  • H.R.2594 (Green, R-TN) Would restrict U.S. exports of certain technology and intellectual property to China 
  • H.R.2587/H.R.2586 (Case, D-HI) Would define a reasonable rate in the context of noncontiguous domestic ocean trade/ Would exempt certain noncontiguous trade from coastal laws
  • H.R.2571 (Posey, R-FL) Would provide a tax credit for certain expenses of moving manufacturing equipment from China to the United States

Upcoming Congressional hearings





  • Mr. Brynt Parmeter, Department of Defense Chief Talent Management Officer 
  • Mr. Enrique Roig, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor in the Western Hemisphere and Africa
  • Mr. Larry Decker, Senior Advisor to the President of the U.S. Export-Import Bank
  • Ms. Sarah Beran, National Security Council Senior Director for China and Taiwan Affairs
  • Mr. Samuel Miller, Development Finance Corporation Chief Technology Officer

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


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