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International Policy Update (9/30)

3 October 2022 Monday

 

U.S. Chamber of Commerce
International Policy Update
September 30, 2022

Chamber Hosts Business Discussion with Pacific Island Leaders

New U.S.-Japan Business Council Executive Director Appointed

Chamber Signs MOU to Complement U.S.-Israel High-Level Dialogue on Technology

Senate Banking Committee Discusses Outbound Investment Review

Doreen-Bogdan Martin Elected as ITU Secretary-General

Commentary

We Can’t Stand Still: Why America Must Lead on Trade

U.S. Chamber Partners with U.S. and Israeli Officials on Business Forum for High-level Dialogue on Technology

Business Priorities for the World Trade Organization

Chamber Hosts Business Discussion with Pacific Island Leaders

The U.S. Chamber on September 29 hosted a business discussion with 12 heads of state and government from the Pacific islands as part of the first U.S.-Pacific Island Country Summit hosted by President Biden. Pacific island leaders, along with U.S. government officials and the U.S. business community, gathered to discuss key trade and investment issues across the region, including digital connectivity, clean energy, and health.

The discussion featured heads of state and government from the Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, New Caledonia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Tuvalu. Representatives from Vanuatu, Nauru, and Guam were also in attendance.

Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Sarah Bianchi, Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Marisa Lago, CEO of the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation Scott Nathan, Director of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency Enoh Ebong, and Deputy Assistant to the President and Coordinator for the lndo-Pacific Kurt Campbell gave remarks on behalf of the U.S. government.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative announced during the summit steps to enhance engagement with the Pacific islands. These steps include:

·    Establishing a Trade and Investment Dialogue with the Pacific islands,

·    Directing the U.S. International Trade Commission to conduct a study on U.S.-Pacific Island trade, and

·    Exploring ways to maximize utilization of the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program when reauthorized by Congress.

For further information, please contact Executive Director of Southeast Asia John Goyer (jgoyer@uschamber.com).

New U.S.-Japan Business Council Executive Director Appointed

On September 27, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce announced that Tomoko Hosaka Mullaney has been appointed Executive Director of the U.S.-Japan Business Council (USJBC).

Mullaney most recently served as Vice President at The Asia Group, where she provided corporate leaders with strategic guidance and analysis of Japan’s economic, geopolitical and market landscape. Before The Asia Group, she was a veteran business journalist and leader in media, with a decade of experience in Japan. Click here for further background.

Senior Vice President for Asia Charles Freeman stated:

“We’re ecstatic to have Tomoko as USJBC’s next Executive Director. She brings a wealth of experience and deep expertise on Japan, along with a global network that will strengthen the organization and serve our members well.”

Mullaney added:

“I’m deeply honored to join the U.S.-Japan Business Council and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. I have long admired the USJBC for its essential role in the U.S.-Japan economic partnership, which is more important than ever in today’s challenging global environment. I am thrilled to work with the entire USJBC team, its members, and partners to continue strengthening the two countries’ unique relationship.”

For further information, please contact Tomoko Mullaney in her new role as Executive Director of the U.S.-Japan Business Council at tmullaney@uschamber.com.

Chamber Signs MOU to Complement U.S.-Israel High-Level Dialogue on Technology

On September 28, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Israeli Employers and Businesses Organizations (IEBO) announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) establishing a cooperation framework between American and Israeli businesses. This new MoU complements the Strategic High-Level Dialogue on Technology launched by President Biden and Prime Minister Lapid during President Biden’s visit to Israel in July 2022.

The MOU builds on the strong alliance between business organizations in both countries and outlines their intent to develop a collaborative business-oriented framework between them and their members. This includes working together to address shared strategic priorities such as pandemic preparedness, confronting climate change, responsible implementation of artificial intelligence, and building trusted technology ecosystems.

Upon the signing, Executive Vice President and Head of International Affairs Myron Brilliant stated:

“The Dialogue elevates the importance of innovation in our historic bilateral relationship and underscores the need to confront some of our greatest global challenges together. Strengthening public-private partnership is key to deepening our technological cooperation and work together to remove barriers to innovation, expand investment in R&D, ensure common standards and regulation, and create new avenues for government and business to collaborate on critical and emerging technologies.”

Chairman of the Manufacturers’ Association of Israel (MAI)’s Israeli High-Tech Society Marian Cohen, who represented the Presidium of IEBO and MAI’s President Dr. Ron Tomer at the MOU signing, said:

“IEBO highly appreciates the U.S. Chamber’s role in facilitating the creation of this unique and targeted framework of cooperation between these two powerhouses of technological innovation in our respective organizations. We praise both governments launching this dialogue and recognize that the private sector must take center stage where it comes to the power of technology to confront strategic threats.”

To learn more about the event, click here. For further information, please contact Executive Director of the U.S.-Israel Business Council Josh Kram (jkram@uschamber.com).

Senate Banking Committee Discusses Outbound Investment Review

The Senate Banking Committee on September 29 held a hearing examining a possible outbound investment screening mechanism. The Chamber weighed in with staff ahead of the session to reiterate concerns raised by members during the year-long debate over the USICA/America COMPETES legislation, in which such a mechanism was proposed but ultimately not enacted in the resulting CHIPS and Science Act.

In sum, the Chamber restated that any outbound investment regime should have clear objectives, address specific problems, and set parameters that would preclude abuse of the regime in the future. Given the novelty of the concept, the Chamber and others in the business community have counseled caution on scoping as well as the advantages of proceeding first with a pilot program, a reasonable phase-in period, and notice-and-comment opportunities. The need for due process and adequate debate over the possible creation of such a mechanism has also been a recurring theme. Please find more arguments on previous outbound proposals here and a multi-association letter here.

During the hearing, Ranking Member Pat Toomey (R-PA) noted his desire to guide the creation of any such mechanism with principles affirming “that it is wholly irresponsible to have a regime that does not have clear statutory boundaries on its application,” he said.

Later the same day, Toomey filed an amendment to the NDAA that would require firms to notify the administration of investments in critical technologies related to artificial intelligence, quantum computing, semiconductors or tech already covered by export controls. The amendment further says nothing in the title can be construed to “‘to restrain or deter foreign investment in the United States, United States investment abroad, or trade in goods or services, if such investment and trade do not pose a risk to the national security of the United States.” The amendment would require U.S. persons planning to engage in covered investments to submit a written notification to the president no later than “15 days after the date of the start” of that investment.

The Senate has adjourned until November 14, though leadership has signaled it somehow intends to officially start debate on the package in mid-October. The House NDAA package, which passed in July, does not include such a proposal, so any language addressing this issue in the Senate package would have to be reconciled.

Chairman Sherrod Brown (D-OH) questioned whether enough time remained to address this issue this year. He asked witnesses about gaps that exist in current export control and investment regimes, the scope of a potential notification requirement, and how a notification process should be structured. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) pressed for a need to work with allies to create a multilateral outbound framework that is implementable.

As reported in recent weeks, the White House is expected to issue an executive order establishing an outbound investment screening tool after the midterm elections. This will likely focus on a few key sectors (such as AI, quantum computing, and semiconductors) while including broader investment definitions that could trigger a notification process. A notice-and-comment period process is expected to accompany this order. In the Chamber’s view, the executive order will precede any outbound investment legislation, which is more likely to reappear in the next Congress.

The Chamber is engaging with the administration on this issue and welcomes further input from members. For further information, please contact Director for International Policy Isabelle Icso (iicso@uschamber.com) or China Center President Jeremie Waterman (jwaterman@uschamber.com).

Doreen-Bogdan Martin Elected as ITU Secretary-General

On September 29, Member States of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) elected Doreen Bogdan-Martin of the United States as the organization’s next Secretary-General. Bogdan-Martin will be the first woman to lead ITU, which was established in 1865 and became a United Nations specialized agency in 1947. Bogdan-Martin won the position with 139 votes, out of 172 votes cast. Upon her election she stated:

“Whether it’s today’s children or our children’s children, we need to provide them with a strong and stable foundation for growth. The world is facing significant challenges – escalating conflicts, a climate crisis, food security, gender inequalities, and 2.7 billion people with no access to the Internet. I believe we, the ITU and our members, have an opportunity to make a transformational contribution. Continuous innovation can and will be a key enabler to facilitate resolution of many of these issues.”

In March, the U.S. Chamber issued a statement in support of Bogdan-Martin’s candidacy.

For further information, please contact Executive Director of the Center for Global Regulatory Cooperation Abel Torres (atorres@uschamber.com).

Commentary

We Can’t Stand Still: Why America Must Lead on Trade
U.S. Chamber (September 28) by John Murphy
(The first publication in the Chamber’s “We Can’t Stand Still” series)

U.S. Chamber Partners with U.S. and Israeli Officials on Business Forum for High-level Dialogue on Technology
U.S. Chamber (September 28) by Josh Kram

Business Priorities for the World Trade Organization
U.S. Chamber (September 27) by John Murphy

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