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International Issues Update 2023/22

By June 2, 2023July 31st, 2023No Comments


  • Analyzing U.S. EPA rules on power plants and PFAS
  • Coordinating comments on U.S. Critical Materials Assessment 
  • Reporting on U.S. presidential election processes
  • Assisting with due diligence for foreign commercial investments
  • Assessing implications of U.S. State Department reporting on combating deforestation

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 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

Upcoming WIBC events:

  • June 6: Japanese Deputy Chief of Mission Tamaki Tsukada, U.S.-Japan relations and Japan’s G7 presidency

REMINDER: Our client portal, WIBC calendar, and other resources are available at

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


U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council (TTC)

At the fourth TTC ministerial in Sweden on May 31, the United States and the European Union committed to deepen cooperation on a wide range of issues, including artificial intelligence, telecommunications, clean energy, and de-risking relations with China. 

The TTC welcomed recommendations from the Trade and Labour Dialogue (TALD) on combating forced labor in global supply chains, and noted technical cooperation on export controls, investment screening, and outbound investment controls.  

Amid calls for more concrete action on trade, the United States and the EU announced a work plan for the Transatlantic Initiative on Sustainable Trade (TIST), elements of which include the ongoing Global Sustainable Arrangement for Steel and Aluminum negotiations (aiming to conclude by October 2023), a new circular economy initiative, and a joint initiative on green public procurement. 

The two sides, unsurprisingly, did not announce any progress on negotiating a critical minerals agreement (CMA) that would qualify EU materials for clean vehicle tax credits under the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

Contact: Steve Ziehm


U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Ambassador Katherine Tai met with Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao on the margins of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) trade ministerial in Detroit, following a bilateral meeting between Minister Wang and Commerce Secretary Raimondo in Washington the previous week. 

In separate statements, both sides dinged each other’s economic policies but maintained a desire for communication on trade issues. Deputy USTR Bianchi remarked later that USTR does not expect a “breakthrough” in relations and said the administration’s ongoing review of Section 301 tariffs is being conducted with an “analytical approach” based on “what’s economically sound.”

Demonstrating significant remaining tensions, Secretary Raimondo condemned China’s recent ban of Micron as “economic coercion,” although the administration has said the ban will not torpedo the President’s efforts to stabilize relations. Meanwhile, China’s defense minister declined to meet U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin at the Shangri-la Dialogue in Singapore. 

Contact: Patrick Sheehy, Ethan Knecht, Steve Ziehm

South America

Brazilian President Lula da Silva hosted a summit in Brasilia of all South American leaders, including Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro. The leaders’ declaration called for reinvigorating regional integration mechanisms (Colombia subsequently announced its reentry into Unasur), increasing intra-region trade and investment, and strengthening infrastructure and supply chains. Lula also proposed a single South American currency. 

Maduro’s participation, however, highlighted underlying regional divisions. Lula condemned U.S. sanctions, called international resistance to Maduro’s regime “a constructed narrative of authoritarianism,” and declared it “absurd” to consider Maduro an illegitimate leader. The presidents of Chile and Uruguay swiftly rejected these statements. 

Maduro also expressed interest in Venezuela joining the BRICS in his meeting with the Brazilian president, which China and Russia later welcomed as part of a broader initiative to expand the group at the ongoing BRICS ministerial in South Africa. The discussions came as Argentina’s economy minister visited China to pursue economic support and to possibly join the BRICS’ New Development Bank.

Separately, Lula announced the United Nations has chosen the Amazonian city of Belem as host for the November 2025 UN Climate Summit (COP30), though the UN has not publicly confirmed the location and has not yet announced a 2025 COP host.

Contact: Patrick Sheehy, Ethan Knecht

Quick takes

  • The United States on June 1 imposed sanctions on four major Sudanese companies affiliated with combatants in the country’s ongoing civil conflict.
  • Continuing a trend toward broader diplomatic engagement in space issues, the State Department’s May 30 Strategic Framework for Space Diplomacy outlines a “rules-based” approach to managing potential conflicts in space exploration. 
  • Representatives of the United States and Taiwan signed the first agreement under their Initiative on 21st Century Trade, covering customs administration, good regulatory practices, and services domestic regulation, among other topics.
  • China is reportedly considering expanding tax incentives for high-end manufacturing as part of broader efforts to reinvigorate its post-COVID economy and compete against the United States.
  • Both houses of Congress voted to increase the federal debt limit, suspend future debt limit debates until January 2025, and hold non-defense discretionary spending steady for two years. Discretionary funding limits could complicate upcoming legislation, for example on Farm Bill reauthorization.


Federal Register Notices

Newly Introduced Legislation


  • H.R.3792 (Wilson, R-SC) Would modify and extend certain authorities relating to cooperation between the United States and Israel, and expand and strengthen the Abraham Accords
  • H.R.3774 (Lawler, R-NY) Would impose sanctions against importers of petroleum products from Iran
  • H.R.3746 (McHenry, R-NC) Would increase the debt limit


  • S.1802 (Peters, D-MI) Would direct the Secretary of Defense to establish a fund for the conduct of collaborative defense projects between the United States and Israel in emerging technologies
  • S.1791 (Romney, R-UT) Would compare the defense budgets of China and the United States
  • S.1770 (Rubio, R-FL) Would expand sanctions under the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act
  • S.1768 (Risch, R-ID) Would impose sanctions with respect to the Taliban

Upcoming Congressional Hearings





  • Mr. Ajay Banga, President of the World Bank
  • Mr. Brian Grimm, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Organizations
  • Ms. Brittany Hughes, Legislative Director for Representative Underwood (D-IL)
  • Ms. Celeste Saulo, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization
  • Ms. Jess Wysocky, Legislative Director for Representative Auchincloss (D-MA) 
  • Ms. Rachel McCleery, Treasury Department Senior Advisor for IRA Implementation


  • Ms. Elizabeth Hafner, Deputy Assistant USTR for Russia and Eurasia
  • Ms. Ashleigh Huffman, State Department Chief of Sports Diplomacy

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.