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International Issues Update 2023/26

By July 7, 2023August 1st, 2023No Comments


  • Advising client executives on the status of U.S.-China relations in advance of travel to the PRC
  • Reviewing proposed amendments to U.S. trade remedy regulations that would allow for human rights, labor, or environmental concerns to be considered in antidumping and countervailing duty proceedings

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.


Upcoming events:

  • July 12: Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Europe and Eurasia David De Falco, Commercial engagement with the EU and Ukraine’s reconstruction
  • July 13: Lead Negotiator for UN Plastics Pollution Treaty at U.S. Department of State Larke Williams, Ongoing plastics negotiations and opportunities for private sector engagement

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.



Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen conducted an official visit to Beijing July 6-10, highlighting the need to pursue “healthy economic competition that is not winner-take-all” in remarks with Chinese Premier Li Qiang.  She also acknowledged “the need to pursue targeted actions to protect… national security,” noting that such actions should prompt more, not less, dialogue. Secretary Yellen held a roundtable with U.S. businesses in China where she remarked that she had “made clear that the United States does not seek a wholesale separation of our economies. We seek to diversify, not to decouple.”

On June 30, the State Department issued an advisory urging Americans to reconsider travel to China, Macau, and Hong Kong. The advisory highlights Chinese authorities’ “broad discretion to deem a wide range of documents, data, statistics, or materials as state secrets and to detain and prosecute foreign nationals for alleged espionage” as a major concern for “U.S. and third-country firms, such as professional service and due diligence companies, operating in the PRC.”

China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) announced July 3 new export restrictions on gallium and germanium, key rare earth minerals used in semiconductor and clean energy production. China produces over 90% of the global supply of both metals, and MOFCOM described the measures as intended to “protect national security.” While not explicitly targeting U.S. actions, the measure is understood as retaliation against U.S., Japanese, and Dutch semiconductor export controls. Exporters of the metals and products containing them will now be required to seek licensing, effective August 1. 

 Contact: Pat Sheehy


U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai met with her Canadian and Mexican counterparts, Mary Ng and Raquel Buenrostro, on July 6-7 for the third meeting of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) Free Trade Commission (FTC), an annual meeting to review the agreement’s implementation.  Despite increasing business community concerns about Mexico’s implementation of USMCA commitments, including regulatory barriers on agriculture, energy, and technology, the meeting was reportedly not expected to address formal USMCA dispute settlement consultations involving Mexico’s restrictions on biotech corn or energy policies, nor Canada’s dairy sector policies.  

On June 30, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) issued a fact-finding report on the economic impact of the USMCA’s automotive rules of origin (ROOs), one of the most significant updates from the NAFTA.  While noting that the ROOs have not been fully implemented, the ITC concluded that the USMCA has reduced U.S. imports of vehicle parts and increased domestic production but had also increased production costs, with trends showing few signs of changes in the overall competitiveness of the U.S. automotive industry after USMCA’s entry into force in 2020.  A USMCA dispute panel ruled in December 2022 that USTR’s interpretation of the automotive ROOs was inconsistent with U.S. obligations, but the United States has not yet indicated how it intends to comply with the ruling. 

Contact: Stephen Ziehm

Quick takes

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India hosted a July 4 virtual summit with Presidents Xi Jinping of China and Vladimir Putin of Russia as part of India’s Shanghai Cooperation Organization Presidency. In a joint statement, the leaders pledged to further develop cooperation in the fields of politics and security, trade, economy, finance and investment. 
  • President Biden on July 5 hosted Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson of Sweden at the White House to review security cooperation and Sweden’s NATO accession in advance of the upcoming NATO Summit in Vilnius. President Biden will travel to the UK, Lithuania, and Finland from July 9-13 to attend the summit and meet with partners. 
  • The United States will reportedly announce an additional $800 million in aid to Ukraine, including armored vehicles and cluster munitions. 
  • U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai met with EU Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis on July 5 to discuss progress on the Global Arrangement on Sustainable Steel and Aluminum, with Ambassador Tai stating that the two sides remain committed to reaching an agreement by October 2023.
  • A plurilateral WTO negotiation on an Agreement on Investment Facilitation for Development (IFD) concluded on July 6. Involving 113 WTO members, but not the United States, the IFD aims to make rules transparent, streamline investment procedures, and improve the relationship between investors and administrations.  
  • The United States submitted objectives for WTO dispute settlement reform in a communication dated July 5.  The United States has blocked the WTO Appellate Body from functioning since 2019, insisting on fundamental reforms to the dispute settlement process.  


Federal Register Notices

Newly Introduced Legislation


  • H.R.4452 (Torres, D-NY) Would require disclosure of Uyghur force labor in supply chains
  • H.R.4451 (Torres, D-NY) Would require issuers to disclose business in or with China or other aggressor nations
  • H.R.4450 (Torres, D-NY) Would require a report on investment risks in the event of hostilities in Taiwan or the Taiwan Strait
  • H.R.4443 (Smith, R-NJ) Would ensure goods made with child labor or forced labor in the DRC do not enter the U.S. market and counter PRC control of strategic metals and minerals
  • H.R.4441 (Self, R-TX) Would prohibit foreign adversaries from claiming EV tax credits
  • H.R.4408 (Gallagher, R-WI) Would amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to establish a time-limited provisional approval pathway for certain drugs and biological products

Upcoming Congressional Hearings





  • Allison Smith, Deputy Assistant USTR for Environment and Natural Resources
  • Christian Tom, Assistant to the President and Director of Office of Digital Strategy
  • Giulia Siccardo, DOE Director of the Office of Manufacturing and Energy Supply Chains


  • Ambassador Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, State Department Chief Diversity 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.