Skip to main content

International Issues Update 2023/24

By June 23, 2023July 31st, 2023No Comments


  • Assisting with preparations for executives participating in State visit of India’s Prime Minister
  • Monitoring Senate Finance Committee hearing on deforestation and supply chains 
  • Analyzing new EU sanctions for client impact 
  • Reporting on developments in the Ukraine war

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:

  • 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

Upcoming events:

  • June 29: Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services for Global Affairs Loyce Pace, The administration’s global health priorities at the WHO, including pandemic treaty negotiations, health systems strengthening, and NCD recommendations

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.



Secretary of State Blinken traveled to Beijing from June 18-19 to meet with senior Chinese officials, including Foreign Minister Qin Gang, senior CCP diplomat Wang Yi, and President Xi Jinping. Per the State Department readout, the two sides agreed to resume dialogue on “climate change, global macroeconomic stability, food security, public health, and counter-narcotics.” The meetings did not yield any progress on key issues like trade, technology, or Taiwan. The Chinese readouts from the Foreign Minister Qin and senior diplomat Wang meetings were especially sharp on U.S. sanctions and U.S. support for Taiwan.

Following the meetings, Secretary Blinken expressed that the meetings were successful in “stabilizing” the relationship “at a point of instability.” Of the few substantive deliverables, both sides agreed to increase the number of flights and facilitate people-to-people ties, including by increasing business travel. Foreign Minister Qin also agreed to visit the United States at an undetermined time in the future.

Yet irritants remain in the bilateral relationship, as remarks by President Biden describing Xi as a “dictator” led the Chinese government to summon U.S. Ambassador Burns for an official rebuke.

While Secretary Blinken was in Beijing, Premier and the second highest CCP official Li Qiang traveled to Germany and France to preserve economic ties and Sino-European cooperation. In a major speech to a Chinese-German economic forum, Li emphasized the historical economic ties between Europe and China and the importance of economic openness “regardless of how the international situation changes.” He specifically rebuked the European Union’s recently announced strategy on “de-risking”

Contact: Pat Sheehy, Ethan Knecht 

European Union 

The European Union announced June 21 that political agreement had been reached on its 11th package of sanctions on Russia. The package designates approximately 100 parties for sanctions, establishes a mechanism of last resort for restricting exports to third countries assisting in export controls evasion, and imposes export restrictions on select persons evading controls. This includes export restrictions on three firms in Hong Kong.  The package is in draft form and formal implementing text is expected to be issued in the coming days. 

Additionally, on June 20, The European Commission published a proposed new European Economic Security Strategy. The strategy is a response to geopolitical and geo-economic developments of the past three years, when the EU has found itself vulnerable to its dependencies on China for several strategic value chains, and on Russia for fossil fuels. The strategy is non-legislative and will serve as an action plan for future actions. The strategy calls for: 

  • Increased efforts to secure strategic supply chains, protect critical infrastructure, prevent the “leakage” of critical technologies,  and reduce economic dependencies, 
  • Reforms to strengthen the bloc’s investment screening,
  • Legislation to strengthen the EU’s export controls regime,
  • A new initiative on outbound investment screening.

The effort will include the development of a list of critical technologies eligible for support and mitigation measures. The upcoming June 29-30 European Council meetings will be an important first step. Most EU governments agree with the objectives of the strategy, but some may call for caution on the proposals on investment screening and export controls.

Separately, on June 9, EU justice ministers advanced two legislative proposals. The first would harmonize criminal offenses and penalties for the violation of EU sanctions across the bloc. EU sanctions are unevenly enforced across member states. Some do not have criminal penalties for violations. The second proposal would establish a mechanism for the confiscation of sanctioned assets, allowing frozen Russian wealth to be repurposed. 

Contact: Pat Sheehy, Lorenzo Torti


On June 21-23, President Biden hosted Indian Prime Minister Modi for a state visit. The leaders issued a joint statement pledging cooperation in technology, defense, clean energy, shared strategic challenges, and efforts to foster education and work between both countries. In joint remarks, they stressed both countries’ democratic governance and their shared “respect for the dignity of every citizen.” 

The leaders announced the resolution of six outstanding WTO disputes and removal of Indian retaliatory tariffs imposed in response to Section 232 measures on steel and aluminum. A USTR fact sheet detailing the resolution is available. Other key outcomes,  identified in a White House fact sheet, include, among dozens of others: 

  • Indian participation in the Minerals Security Partnership (MSP),
  • New defense procurements from both countries and the embedding of Indian attaches in U.S. military commands,
  • Substantial bilateral investments in the semiconductor, critical minerals, advanced computing, clean energy, and advanced computing sectors,
  • New U.S. consulates in Bengaluru and Ahmedabad, to ease the current visa backlog. 

Modi addressed a joint session of Congress, arguing that the relationship between the Republic of India and the United States is “the defining partnership” of the century. He noted that both countries share an interest in confronting “coercion and confrontation” in the Indo-Pacific.  He received standing applause when he described the United States as “one of our most important defense partners.”

Congressional leaders wrote to President Biden on June 20 urging him to press the Prime Minister on his human rights record. Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden, (D-OR) and Ranking Member Mike Crapo, (R-ID) called on the president to resolve long running trade barriers. 

Contact: Pat Sheehy 

Quick takes

  • The House approved by voice vote the “United States-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade First Agreement Implementation Act”  (H.R. 4004) on June 21.  The legislation provides congressional approval of the Biden administration’s first trade agreement with Taiwan and imposes new congressional consultation and transparency requirements for  subsequent agreements arising under the initiative.  The Senate Finance Committee will consider the bill when the Senate returns from recess in July.  
  • The Senate approved a tax treaty with Chile on June 22,  sending it to the White House for signature by President Biden. The treaty’s ratification would reduce double taxation, and it is expected to spur U.S. investments in Chile’s mining sector. 
  • The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on June 21 sanctioned Burma’s Ministry of Defense and two regime-controlled financial institutions that facilitate much of the foreign currency exchange within Burma, including arms purchases. 
  • The House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party released an interim report detailing the preliminary findings of investigations into Chinese fast fashion brands, Shein and Temu, asserting that the companies are exploiting U.S. de minimis provisions to evade customs enforcement. The bipartisan Import Security and Fairness Act has been introduced in the House and Senate to prevent imports from non-market economies from using the de minimis threshold, which allows packages valued at less than $800 to enter without paying tariffs. 
  • As part of its implementation of the CHIPS and Science Act, the Commerce Department released a “Vision for Success” report outlining strategic objectives for investments in the semiconductor supply chain and announced a funding opportunity and application process for large semiconductor supply chain projects exceeding $300 million.


Federal Register Notices

Newly Introduced Legislation


  • H.R. 3938 (Smith, R-MO) Build It in America Act: Would counter China’s growing global economic influence by restoring American business competitiveness, securing global supply chains, and prohibiting U.S. foreign land sales to companies from countries of concern
  • H.R.4000 (Santos, R-NY) Would authorize States to bring civil actions against China for harm as a result of the COVID pandemic
  • H.R.4001 (Santos, R-NY) Would prohibit arms sales, cyber-security sales, and military sales with China
  • H.R.4004 (Smith, R-MO) United States Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade First Agreement Implementation Act
  • H.R.4008 (Banks, R-IN) Would prohibit plan investments in foreign adversary and sanctioned entities, and require disclosure of existing investments in such entities
  • H.R.4029 (Hern, R-OK) Would secure supply chain by providing an election to determine foreign income taxes paid or incurred
  • H.R.4031 (Huffman, D-CA) Would prohibit drilling in the Arctic Ocean
  • H.R.4035 (McHenry, R-NC) Would harmonize dates of all rules required under the Corporate Transparency Act
  • H.R.4119 (Lee, D-CA) Would impose a tax on certain trading transactions
  • H.R.4223 (Lieu, D-CA) Would establish an artificial intelligence commission
  • H.R. 4276 (Blumenauer, D-OR) Would reauthorize Trade Adjustment Assistance programs, extend and reform the Generalized System of Preferences, and amend the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States to modify certain rates of duty temporarily.
  • H.R.4279 (Brown, D-OH) Would establish the National Commission on Critical Supply Chains


  • S.1928 (Manchin, D-WV) Would modify the prohibition on financing in the Export-Import Bank
  • S.1990 (Sanders, I-VT) Would impose a tax on certain trading transactions
  • S.2002 (Sinema, I-AZ) Would establish the Interagency Group on Large-Scale Carbon management and a Federal Carbon Removal Initiative
  • S.2003 Would provide additional assistance to Ukraine using assets confiscated from Central Back of Russia
  • S.2019 (Marshall, R-KS) Would prevent States and local jurisdictions from interfering with production and distribution of agricultural products in interstate commerce
  • S.2031 (Romney, R-UT) Would decrease DOD reliance on critical minerals from geostrategic competitors and adversaries of the U.S
  • S.2060 (Ernst, R-IA) Would strengthen oversight over foreign investment in the United States agricultural industry



  • Mr. Brent Woolfork, White House Domestic Policy Council Chief of Staff
  • Ms. Cara Camacho, Representative Jim Himes’s (D-CT) Chief of Staff
  • Mr. Chris MacArthur, Representative Dan Newhouse’s (R-WA) Legislative Director
  • Ms. Elizabeth Allen, Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy
  • Mr. Jared Bernstein, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers 
  • Ms. Tressa Steffen Guenov, Defense Department PDAS for International Security 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.