ON OUR DESKS
- Consulting on U.S.-EU trade developments ahead of the Trade and Technology Council (TTC)
- Compiling global policy examples to support client outreach to foreign legislators
- Drafting sustainability resources and communications assets
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:
- May 17: Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Agriculture Affairs and Commodity Policy Julie Callahan, U.S. agriculture trade priorities
Upcoming WIBC events:
- May 31: Embassy of China Minister-Counsellor for Economic and Commercial Affairs Jiang Lyu, China’s post-COVID economic policy agenda and relations with the United States
REMINDER: Our client portal, WIBC calendar, and other resources are available at redflag.global/washington.
WIBC discussions are open to WIBC members only. Not a member? Contact Alix for membership inquiries.
YOU NEED TO KNOW
G7 leaders gathered May 19-21 in Hiroshima, Japan, and announced continued support for Ukraine, including military aid and broadened actions to restrict exports “of all items critical to Russia’s aggression including those used by Russia on the battlefield.” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is expected to attend the summit in-person on May 21.
Country announcements included:
- New U.S. export controls on 1224 categories of industrial goods, export restrictions on third country smugglers, additional financial sanctions, restrictions on the provision of certain engineering services to Russia, and an advisory on evasion risks.
- The UK sanctioned 86 individuals and entities, targeting Russia’s theft of Ukrainian grain, advanced military technology, and remaining revenue sources.
- Canada imposed 70 new sanctions focused on people supporting Russia’s illegal military action and complicit in human rights violations.
- Australia’s measures include a ban on exporting machinery to Russia and Russian-controlled areas.
- The European Union is negotiating its 11th sanctions tranche and is expected to issue further restrictions in the coming days.
While in Japan, President Biden will meet in-person with the other three leaders of the “Quad” (Australia, Japan, India), replacing planned travel canceled as the president is required in Washington for ongoing negotiations on the debt ceiling. The Quad is expected to announce a hybrid network of government and private funding for joint investment in critical technologies.
The G7 summit is also expected to advance leaders’ efforts to derisk relations with China and counter economic coercion, including through coordinating export and investment restrictions and coordinating public investment to better compete with Chinese state funding of strategic sectors. Chinese President Xi Jinping held a counter-summit with Central Asian countries May 109 and announced 26 billion yuan ($3.7 billion) in loans and grants intended to reinvigorate China’s flagship Belt and Road Initiative.
A G7 joint communique articulating shared principles for engaging with China while pursuing G7 members “national interests” will reportedly be issued Sunday. This will be joined by a statement on clean energy, reportedly including efforts to strengthen critical minerals supply chains. The European Commission’s May 19 statement issued in advance of the summit emphasizes that “China has moved from ‘“reform and opening’ to “security and control.”
Amid a reported freeze in most high-level U.S.-China communication, China announced that Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao will meet Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo next week in Washington before traveling to Detroit for the APEC trade ministerial and a sideline bilateral with U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Katherine Tai.
The House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party hearing this week saw divergent views from witnesses and members supporting blanket restrictions and “strategic decoupling” (supported by testimony from former U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer) and others wishing to apply more targeted actions or “derisking.” Proposed derisk measures include revoking permanent normal trade relations, expanding section 301 tariffs, and imposing broad outbound investment restrictions.
The administration is expected to release soon an executive order outlining targeted outbound investment restrictions on certain technology, but Republicans are likely to push for further restrictions and may also seek to restrict the operations of Chinese technology firms in the United States. Any outright federal ban on Chinese companies (e.g., TikTok) is unlikely to pass.
- The United States announced conclusion of an initial agreement under the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st Century Trade, covering customs administration and trade facilitation, good regulatory practices, services domestic regulation, anti-corruption, and small- and medium-sized enterprises. Future negotiations will focus on agriculture, standards, digital trade, labor, environment, state-owned enterprises, and non-market policies and practices.
- A new UN Environment Programme (UNEP) report issued in advance of the second global plastic treaty negotiating round calls for a “market transformation towards circularity,” including slashing plastic pollution by 80% and halving single-use plastics production by 2040. The State Department will host on May 28 a stakeholder meeting on the margins of the negotiating round.
- To prevent his impeachment, right-leaning Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso invoked a constitutional provision to suspend Congress and rule by decree until new elections are held – tentatively in August. Lasso said he will not seek re-election, and the United States offered a muted response noting continuing strong relations with Ecuador.
NOTICES, BILLS & HEARINGS
Federal Register Notices
- Treasury/OFAC, Global Magnitsky Sanctions Regulations Web General License 7, May 17
- Treasury/OFAC, South Sudan sanctions regulations, May 18
- Treasury/OFAC, Iran transactions and sanctions regulations Web General License O, May 19
- Treasury/OFAC, Russia sanctions designations, May 19
- Treasury/OFAC, Russia sanctions designation, May 19
- USTR, China product exclusion extensions, May 17
Newly Introduced Legislation
- H.R.3553 (Wittman, R-VA) Would ban imports of Russian nuclear material
- H.R.3530 (Pappas, D-NH) Would increase the de minimis exception for third party settlement organizations to $5,000
- H.R.3423 (Johnson, R-SD) Would preserve foreign markets for goods using common names
- H.R.3395 (Auchincloss, D-MA) Would evaluate foreign ownership of marine terminals at the 15 largest U.S. container ports
- H.R.3385 (Plaskett, D-VI) Would assess the value, cost, and feasibility of developing a trans-Atlantic submarine fiber optic cable connecting the U.S., U.S. Virgin Islands, Ghana, and Nigeria
- H.R.3378 (Lucas, R-OK) Would add the Secretary of Agriculture to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States
- H.R.3358 (Arrington, R-TX) Would prohibit Federal contract recipients from disclosing climate related financial risk or greenhouse gas emissions
- H.R.3357 (Strong, R-AL) Would prohibit the purchase or lease of U.S. agricultural land by certain foreign government-associated people
- H.R.3334 (McClain, R-MI) Would impose sanctions on members of China’s government
- S.1741 (Grassley, R-IA) Would prohibit electric vehicle original equipment manufacturers from participating in the renewable fuel program
- S.1725 (Brown, D-OH) Would modify the exception for de minimis payments by third party settlement organizations
- S.1720 (Sullivan, D-AK) Would provide support for energy infrastructure projects in the Indo-Pacific region
- S.1717 (Barrasso, R-WY) Would prohibit Energy Department financial awards being disbursed to entities related to China
- S.1674 (Cotton, R-AR) Would provide better security and accountability regarding the nuclear arsenals of China and Russia
- S.1652 (Thune, R-SD) Would preserve foreign markets for goods using common names
- S.1651 (Shaheen, D-NH) Would encourage trade and investment between the United States and Western Balkan countries
- S.1647 (Rubio, R-FL) Would impose sanctions against supporters of terrorist organizations in Gaza and the West Bank
- S.1632 (Vance, R-OH) Would require the Secretary of Transportation to create regulations relating to the approval of foreign manufacturers of cylinders
Upcoming Congressional Hearings
- Energy: Are Federal energy supply chain initiatives working, May 23, 10:30 a.m.
- Foreign Affairs: State/Foreign operations European budget, May 23, 2:00 p.m.
- Homeland Security: U.S. homeland vulnerabilities from China, May 23, 2:00 p.m.
- Select China: Committee pending business, May 24, 9:30 a.m.
- Foreign Affairs: Secretary Blinken contempt resolution following ignored subpoena, May 24, 10:00 a.m.
- Foreign Affairs: Modernizing U.S. arms exports, Australia-UK-USA Alliance, May 24, 2:00 p.m.
- Ms. Ana Unruh Cohen, CEQ Senior Director for Clean Energy, Infrastructure and NEPA
- Mr. Arjun Krishnaswami, White House Senior Policy Adviser for Clean Energy Infrastructure
- Mr. Lucian Sikorskyj, NSC Senior Director for Resilience and Response
- Ms. Machalagh Carr, Chief of Staff to the Speaker of the House
- Ms. Merav Ceren, Senate Commerce Committee Deputy Policy Director
- Mr. Navtej Dhillon, NEC Chief of Staff
- Ms. Rachel Lyngaas, Treasury Department Chief Sanctions Economist
Want more scoops on personnel moves? Find the most recent Who’s Who here.
- President Biden attends G7 Leaders’ Summit (Hiroshima), May 19-21
- President Biden attends Quad Leaders’ meeting (Hiroshima), May 20
- Secretary Blinken meets with Pacific Islands Forum leaders (Papua New Guinea), May 21-22
- World Health Assembly (Geneva), May 21-30
- OECD Global Forum on Public Debt Management (Paris), May 22-23
- EU Foreign Affairs Council (Brussels), May 22-25
- U.S. House is in session and Senate is in recess, May 22-26
- Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the African Development Bank Group (Sharm el Sheikh), May 22-26
- WHO Council on the Economics of Health for All (Geneva), May 23
- Quad Third Leaders’ Summit (Sydney), May 24
- APEC Trade Ministers Meeting (Detroit), May 25-26
- IPEF Ministerial (Detroit), May 27
- U.S. State Department Industry Stakeholder Session on the margins of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) on Plastic Pollution (Paris), May 28
- Second Session of the INC on Plastic Pollution (Paris), May 29-June 2
- Fourth Meeting of the U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council (Luleå, Sweden), May 30-31
Looking farther ahead? Find the most recent full international events calendar here.