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International Issues Update 2023/27

By July 14, 2023August 1st, 2023No Comments


  • Advising on adaptation to U.S.-China economic competition 
  • Identifying key contact points in multilateral and international organizations 
  • Assessing U.S.-EU critical minerals negotiations

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:

  • 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

Upcoming events:

  • July 25: American Institute in Taiwan Chair Laura Rosenberger, Priorities for political and economic engagement with Taiwan
  • July 26: Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Manufacturing Heather Evans, Advancing U.S. manufacturing competitiveness

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.


NATO / Europe

President Biden, attending the NATO Summit this week in Vilnius, Lithuania, said in a speech that NATO is stronger, more energized, and more united than ever in its history, citing the accession of Finland to the alliance and an agreement with Türkiye to allow for Sweden’s membership.   He stated that the U.S. commitment to Ukraine “will not waver” and that “we will stand for liberty and freedom today, tomorrow, and for as long as it takes.”  

The G-7  separately issued a joint statement pledging security guarantees to Ukraine, including “swift and sustained security assistance, modern military equipment across land, sea and air domains, and economic assistance.” NATO members also agreed to a new partnership with Japan, opening new liaison offices in Tokyo and Brussels. 

President Biden also participated in the third U.S.-Nordic Leaders’ Summit in Helsinki, Finland on July 13, which addressed climate and technology cooperation in addition to continued support for Ukraine. 

Contact: Stephen Ziehm


Concluding travel to China, Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen remarked on July 8 that the Biden administration seeks “a future of healthy economic competition between our countries,” noting that “a decoupling of the world’s two largest economies would be disastrous for both countries and destabilizing for the world. And it would be virtually impossible to undertake.”   

Ahead of a planned visit by Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry to China for climate discussions on July 16-19, the House Foreign Affairs Committee held a hearing on July 13 at which Republicans sharply criticized the administration for not holding China to account on reducing carbon emissions.   House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) announced July 12 he has subpoenaed the State Department to determine the veracity of reports claiming planned sanctions were delayed following the overflight of the United States by a Chinese spy balloon. McCaul will likely seek to pressure the administration to resume any paused sanctions.

The House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party also held a hearing on risks to U.S. businesses operating in China, at which Committee Chair Mike Gallagher (R-WI) highlighted raids on U.S. firms’ Chinese operations by Chinese authorities and the passage of new Chinese national security legislation criminalizing business information gathering and due diligence activities as key threats.

The Congressional Executive Committee on China held a separate hearing on corporate complicity in China’s human rights violations. Undersecretary for Policy Robert Silvers of the Department of Homeland Security testified on the implementation of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA), noting in his testimony that DHS hopes to expand its enforcement of the UFLPA and expects to make new additions to the “entity list” of blacklisted firms. 

On June 13,  Germany announced its first-ever Strategy on China, stating that “China has changed…As a result of this and China’s political decisions, we need to change our approach to China.” The strategy calls for continued cooperation and engagement with China while stating “de-risking is urgently needed” and acknowledging a “systemic rivalry” stemming from disagreements on “ principles governing the international order.”   The document identifies dependencies in pharmaceuticals, critical minerals, and information technology as being of key concern. 

Contact: Pat Sheehy


Secretary of State Antony Blinken participated in a conference with ASEAN countries on July 14 following the bloc’s annual foreign ministers’ meeting.  Blinken highlighted the U.S. Indo-Pacific Strategy as underscoring ASEAN’s centrality, citing the need to uphold the freedom of navigation in the South and East China Seas and maintain peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.

In a joint communique, ASEAN foreign ministers expressed concern on the intensifying geopolitical tensions in the region and cited the need to further promote the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific  (AOIP) in interactions with partners.  The bloc also discussed the ongoing crisis in Myanmar, having pushed for a “five point consensus” solution to the conflict since 2021. Thailand has started parallel dialogues with Myanmar in an attempt to move a resolution forward. 

In addition to meetings with the United States, ASEAN also held post-ministerial meetings with representatives from Russia, China, and other third countries.  Secretary Blinken met with Chinese Foreign Affairs Director Wang Yi on the sidelines of the event on June 13 as “part of ongoing efforts to maintain open channels of communication to clarify U.S. interests across a wide range of issues and to responsibly manage competition by reducing the risk of misperception and miscalculation.” 

ASEAN is expected to announce efforts to conclude an ASEAN-China non-aggression pact that would attempt to defuse some tensions over maritime border disputes in the South China Sea.

Contact: Pat Sheehy

Quick takes

  • The European Union announced its approval of a new “U.S. -EU Data Privacy Framework” enabling trans-Atlantic personal data transfers. Previous agreements had been invalidated in EU courts due to a disparity between standards of data protection, imperiling U.S. firms’ ability to operate in the EU. 
  • As part of the U.S.-Africa Business Summit, the White House announced 75 new deals between the United States and African countries for a total estimated value of $5.7 billion in two-way trade and investment. Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi called for a renewal of the AGOA trade preferences program, which expires in 2025. 
  • The House of Representatives passed its version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in a party-line vote on July 14.  The House bill would au­tho­rize an additional $300 mil­lion in se­cu­rity as­sistance for Ukraine and provide $600 mil­lion over the Biden ad­min­is­tration’s request for military spending on threats in the Indo-Pa­cific. 
  • The U.S. Export-Import Bank announced that it will offer longer repayment terms and additional flexibilities beginning July 15 for most transactions, including climate projects, nuclear energy, technologies offering climate change mitigation benefit, and climate change adaptation projects. 
  • Members of the OECD/G20 Inclusive Framework on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting announced an agreement to extend a moratorium on digital services taxes through 2024.  Canada, however, announced it would move forward with the imposition of a Digital Services Tax (DST) in 2024.


Federal Register Notices

Newly Introduced Legislation


  • H.R.4548 (James, R-MI) Would require a national strategy to secure U.S. supply chains involving critical minerals sourced from the Democratic Republic of Congo
  • H.R.4554 (McCormick, R-GA) Would require a report on international assistance for Ukraine
  • H.R.4559 (Pocan, D-WI) Would require fair pay for workers employed by companies who provide meat, meat products, poultry, poultry products, and processed food to the Federal Government
  • H.R.4612 (Randy, R-IA) Would provide technical assistance to improve infrastructure in foreign markets for U.S. agricultural products


  • S.2226 (Reed, D-RI) National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2024
  • S.2289 (Peters, D-MI) Would assess foreign influence on the National Industrial Security Program
  • S.2293 (Peters, D-MI) Would establish federal officers, council and governance board for AI
  • S.2318 (Ernst, R-AI) Would develop a strategy for establishing ground-based theater-range missiles in the Indo-Pacific region

Upcoming Congressional Hearings





  • Dan Watson, DHS Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs
  • Jared Bernstein, Chairman at Council of Economic Advisers
  • Kelly Razzouk, U.S. Mission to the UN Chief of Staff for Policy (Acting) 
  • Raven Bukowski Stein, National Security Council Director for Legislative Affairs
  • Suzanna Fritzberg, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Treasury for Capital Access


  • Colin Kahl, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy

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.