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International Issues Update 2023/23

By June 9, 2023July 31st, 2023No Comments


  • Advising on likely inflection points in the U.S.-China bilateral relationship
  • Analyzing WTO Trade Policy Review of the European Union 
  • Arranging embassy engagements to discuss investment issues in a North African country

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.

NOTICE:  The IIU will not be distributed on Friday, June 16 but will resume on Friday, June 23.


In case you missed it:

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

Upcoming WIBC events:

  • June 21: Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Environment and Natural Resources Kelly Milton, Environmental priorities for current trade negotiations and enforcement
  • June 22: New U.S. senior trade representative to the EU Rufino Hurtado

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.



The United States and the United Kingdom announced an “Atlantic Declaration for a Twenty-First Century U.S.-UK Economic Partnership”  during a meeting at the White House between President Biden and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on June 8.  Falling short of a resumption of bilateral free trade agreement negotiations, the Atlantic Declaration includes an intent to launch a bilateral Critical Minerals Agreement negotiation to qualify minerals processed in the United Kingdom for EV tax credits under the Inflation Reduction Act.   Senior White House and Downing Street representatives will convene biannually under the Atlantic Declaration Action Plan (ADAPT) to advance cooperation on issues such as emerging technologies (e.g., artificial intelligence and synthetic biology), supply chain (e.g., export controls and outbound investment reviews), and clean energy.  The two countries launched a  one-year U.S.-UK Joint Action Group on Energy Security and Affordability (the JAG) to identify near-term actions to accelerate the buildout of capacity to meet the clean energy demands. 

Contact: Steve Ziehm


The 24-member Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) adopted the “OECD Strategic Framework for the Indo-Pacific” during its June Ministerial Council meeting. The framework comes as the Biden administration presses forward on efforts to boost engagement with the region via the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF). According to a ministerial council statement, the strategy recognizes “the region’s strategic priority and its importance for global growth, and critical supply chains, as well as in global challenges such as climate change and the digital transition.” The framework cites a “strong interest” in encouraging shared standards in the areas of critical supply chains, “social and environmental sustainability” as well as continued engagement with the World Trade Organization.  On the sidelines of the OECD Ministerial, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, the U.K. joined the Biden administration in a Joint Declaration on trade-related economic coercion and non-market policies and practices. 

Contact: Chris Benscher


Secretary of State Antony Blinken is expected to travel to Beijing next week. However, recent revelations about a possible Chinese spying facility in Cuba led some Republican House Members to question the Secretary’s travel plans. 

In advance of a possible meeting and marking the most senior-level visit since his trip to Beijing last December, Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Kritenbrink traveled to Beijing for a series of conversations with Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu to discuss cross-strait issues and broader communication between Washington and Beijing. Unlike previous meetings, the American and Chinese readouts of the discussions were both positive and generally aligned.

This deeper engagement comes as Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen reportedly stressed to the board of the US-China Business Council the importance of trade and investment with China while also acknowledging market barriers. Ambassador Xie also spoke to the Council, where he highlighted Taiwan and U.S. sanctions and export controls as the major flashpoints in the bilateral relationship. 

U.S. sanctions appear unlikely to halt. The Department of Homeland Security added two entities and eight subsidiaries to the UFLPA Entity List June 9 for working with the government of Xinjiang to use forced labor. The action bans imports from Ninestar Corporation and eight subsidiaries and Xinjiang Zhongtai Chemical Co. Ltd. Ninestar is a major printer manufacturer, the subsidiaries are in the high-tech and semiconductor sectors. The United States imposed additional financial sanctions on June 6 on Chinese firms supporting Iran’s ballistic missile program and on May 30 targeting PRC based portions of the illegal fentanyl supply chain

Contact: Ethan Knecht, Patrick Sheehy 

Quick takes

  • The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative announced that it would seek dispute settlement consultations with Mexico regarding its policies to ban the use of biotechnology corn in all products for human consumption and animal feed. While the Mexican government vowed to counter the complaint, Mexico’s agriculture minister reportedly “expressed confidence that the dispute… would not escalate to a dispute settlement panel.”
  • In part to inform the ongoing U.S.-EU Global Arrangement on Sustainable Steel and Aluminum negotiations, USTR requested an investigation by the U.S. International Trade Commission  into the greenhouse gas emissions intensity of U.S. steel and aluminum industries.  Separately, a bipartisan group of Senators introduced the PROVE IT Act, which would require the Energy Department to conduct a study of emissions intensity of a wide range of industrial goods, including aluminum, steel, hydrogen, plastics, paper, petrochemicals and critical minerals, to make comparisons between U.S. production and foreign competition.  
  • Vice President Harris traveled to the Bahamas this week to take part in the U.S-Caribbean Leaders Meeting, at which she announced an expanded diplomatic presence in the Caribbean, including two new embassies, a Caribbean climate investment program, and support for the extension of Haiti’s HOPE/HELP trade preferences program.


Federal Register Notices

Newly Introduced Legislation


  • H.R.3917 (Neguse, D-CO) Would establish a National Manufacturing Advisory Council within the Department of Commerce
  • H.R.3907 (Frankel, D-FL) Would authorize appropriations for cooperative projects among the United States, Israel, and developing countries
  • H.R.3885 (Ciscomani, R-AZ) Would add copper as a critical mineral
  • H.R.3857 (Green, R-TN) Would provide the UK an exemption for licensing of defense items for export in the absence of a relevant bilateral agreement


  • S.1919 (Budd, R-NC) Would require U.S. IMF leaders to oppose an increase in the weight of the Chinese renminbi in the Special Drawing Rights basket of the Fund
  • S.1915 (Kelly, D-AZ) Would establish a critical supply chain site development grant program
  • S.1905 (Manchin, D-WV) Would expand the categories of forfeited property available to remediate harms to Ukraine from Russian aggression
  • S.1881 (Rubio, R-FL) Would reauthorize and amend the Nicaraguan Investment Conditionality Act and the Reinforcing Nicaragua’s Adherence to Conditions for Electoral Reform Act
  • S.1873 (Bennet, D-CO) Would establish an Office of Global Competition Analysis in the White House staffed by experts from the Departments of Commerce, Treasury, and Defense
  • S.1871 (Peters, D-MI) Would increase cooperation between the Federal, State and local jurisdictions to reduce the U.S. reliance on China for critical minerals and rare earth metals

Upcoming Congressional Hearings





  • Ambassador Chibamba Kanyama, Ambassador of Zambia
  • Mr. David Crane, Under Secretary of Energy for Infrastructure 
  • Dr. Lora Weiss, CHIPS Research and Development Office Director
  • Mr. Paul Friedrichs, NSC Senior Director for Global Health Security and Biodefense
  • Ms. Radha Plumb, Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment
  • Ambassador Tuck Yew Lui, Ambassador of Singapore 


  • Mr. Ashish Jha, White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator
  • Mr. Dilawar Syed, State Department Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs

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.