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International Issues Update 2023/29

By July 28, 2023August 1st, 2023No Comments


  • Briefing on U.S. relations and objectives in Latin America
  • Assessing Congressional appropriations progress and the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)
  • Updating on PFAS regulatory and research developments, including upcoming global cancer hazard review

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 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

Upcoming events:

  • August 22 (VIRTUAL): Senate Finance Committee Chief International Trade Counsel Sally Laing and Senior International Trade Counsel Virginia Lenahan, Trade priorities in the 118th Congress

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.



After a period of unexplained absence from the public stage, China’s Foreign Minister and former ambassador to the United States Qin Gang was removed from his position and replaced by Wang Yi, now double-hatted as both the head diplomat for the Chinese Communist Party and the Foreign Minister. While the move is unlikely to herald policy shifts, it cements Wang’s status as China’s preeminent foreign policy leader. 

Chinese export restrictions on gallium and germanium entered into effect August 1, in retaliation for U.S. controls on semiconductors and chip making equipment. Whether China grants export licenses and to whom remains to be seen and will indicate how far China is willing to go in retaliation against the United States. China’s export control precedents have had mixed results – restrictions on rare earths exports increased prices for consumers but also drove efforts to develop alternative supplies. 

Scrutiny of China in the U.S. Congress remained intense right up to summer recess. The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence released an assessment of China’s support for Russia’s war in Ukraine, which includes financial arrangements that lessen the impact of sanctions, as well as supply of dual-use goods. While the report does not disclose any transfer of weapons, it could foretell sanctions actions. 

In a July 26 House Select Committee hearing, Chairman Mike Gallagher (R-WI) emphasized China’s plan to “acquire our best technology for virtually free [via theft and coercion] and use it for their own malign purposes.” In testimony to a July 26 Senate Finance Committee hearing, Under Secretaries of State and Treasury Jose Fernandez and Jay Sharmbaugh emphasized balancing “targeted actions to secure our national security interests” with maintaining access to the Chinese market. 

Meanwhile, the Senate Commerce Committee passed the Combating Human Rights Abuses Act of 2023, which would require the Commerce Department to provide written risk guidance and include human rights in “counseling services” for firms operating in China and other jurisdictions with significant human rights abuses.

Contact: Pat Sheehy

Investment policy

As the Biden administration continues to delay a long-awaited executive order on outbound investment review, the Senate this week approved the Outbound Investment Transparency Act as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).  

Co-sponsored by Senate Finance Committee members Bob Casey (D-PA) and John Cornyn (R-TX), the legislation would require U.S. firms to notify the Treasury Department of planned high-tech investments in foreign countries of concern, specifically the People’s Republic of China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea.  

The Senate also approved an NDAA amendment introduced by Senators Jon Tester (D-MT) and Mike Rounds (R-SD) called the Promoting Agriculture Safeguards and Security Act, which would allow the interagency Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFUIS) to prohibit China, Russia, Iran and North Korea from purchasing U.S. farmland.  The Senate passed its version of the NDAA (S. 2226) on July 27 before leaving for the August recess.  The House previously passed its own version of the NDAA, setting up a fall conference committee, but has passed only one of twelve pending appropriations bills. 

Contact: Stephen Ziehm

Quick takes

  • President Biden welcomed Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni to the White House on June 27, and the two leaders pledged to continue political, military, financial, and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and also referred to the importance of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.  
  • The State Department released its 2023 Investment Climate Statements, providing up-to-date information on investment conditions in more than 1​65 countries and economies.
  • The Senate Commerce Committee approved the Country Of Origin Labeling Online Act, which has been opposed by some online sellers as well as by economic analysts who argue the bill (like other COOL legislation in the past) is overly burdensome and potentially violates WTO obligations.
  • A July 26 advisory issued by the Treasury, Commerce, and Justice departments incentivizes disclosures and outlines leniency for disclosed conduct related to sanctions, export controls, and national security violations. Commerce and Treasury also formalized enforcement cooperation, which is likely to increase scrutiny and fines.


Federal Register Notices

Newly Introduced Legislation


  • H.R.4825 (Dean, D-PA) Would impose sanctions related to the Russian oil price cap policy
  • H.R.4894 (Orden, R-WI) Would reauthorize dairy business innovation initiatives  
  • H.R.4996 (Foster, D-IL) Would establish a Critical Materials Processing Technology Testbed Capability
  • H.R.5021 (McCollum, D-MN) Would prohibit the sale or transfer of critical minerals to foreign entities of concern


  • S.2510 (Peters, D-MI) Would improve supply chain resiliency for critical drug products and active pharmaceutical ingredients
  • S.2545 (Hassan, D-NH) Would require USTR to regularly monitor and assess the risk of industrial subsidies provided by the PRC 
  • S.2551 (Rubio, R-FL) Would impose export controls and sanctions to address the security threat posed by the genetic mapping efforts of the PRC



  • Ayodele Okeowo, Commerce CHIPS for America Director of Intergovernmental Affairs
  • Hannah R. Garden-Monheit, NEC Director of Competition Council Policy
  • Joshua P. Zoffer, Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy
  • Medha V. Raj, White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy Chief of Staff

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.