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International Policy Update )9/9

12 September 2022 Monday

U.S. Chamber of Commerce
International Policy Update
September 9, 2022

Indo-Pacific Economic Framework Ministerial Unfolds in Los Angeles

Chamber Hosts India Ideas Summit 2022

Chamber Welcomes Truss as UK Prime Minister; Issues Condolences on Queen’s Passing

Chamber Congratulates Kenya’s President-Elect Ruto

Commerce Releases CHIPS for America Implementation Strategy

Commerce Eases U.S. Participation in International Standards-Setting Bodies

Business Groups Urge Kigali Amendment Ratification

Senate Finance Committee Approves Chief Agricultural Negotiator

Commentary

US-India trade is vital to shaping the future of the Indo-Pacific

Great Expectations for the Second U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit

Why the U.S.-Chile Tax Treaty Should be Ratified Immediately

Laying the Groundwork for Inclusive Growth Through Digital Trade with Colombia

Indo-Pacific Economic Framework Ministerial Unfolds in Los Angeles

Los Angeles hosted the first in-person Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) ministerial on September 7-9, with trade ministers and other high-level officials from participating countries taking part. U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo both took part. Ministers are expected to conclude a series of general joint statements on each of the four pillars (to recap):

·    Connected Economy: Led by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, this pillar will address trade, digital economy and emerging technology, labor commitments, trade facilitation, transparency and good regulatory practices, and “corporate accountability”:

·    Resilient Economy: Led by the Commerce Department (as are the remaining two pillars), this effort will involve commitments related to supply chain security, including early warning systems, mapping critical mineral supply chains, improving traceability in key sectors, and coordinating on diversification efforts to prevent disruptions in supply chains;

·    Clean Economy: This pillar will address climate and the energy transition with commitments to renewable energy, carbon removal, and additional climate-related initiatives; and

·    Fair Economy: This pillar will focus on the enactment and enforcement of tax, anti-money laundering, and anti-bribery laws and standards.

U.S. Chamber Director for International Policy Isabelle Icso was on the ground in Los Angeles. Together with a small delegation of member companies, she met with several foreign delegations, congressional staffers, and other participants. The Chamber hopes to host negotiators from USTR and Commerce for debriefings in the weeks ahead.

As of early Friday, it appeared that all 14 participating countries (Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, the United States, and Viet Nam) will join in the trade pillar (“connected economy”), with the possible exception of India. Details on which countries will participate in the other pillars will likely be revealed in the statements issued later today. Joining in talks under one pillar is a non-binding commitment as parties may exit any one pillar at any time. The participating governments are also considering allow countries to observe talks in one pillar without actively participating.

Draft negotiating text is said to be at a nascent stage and is more likely to emerge at the next ministerial, which could be held in December or early next year. A senior official-level meeting focused on mapping is expected to precede that gathering. Officials suggest that meeting will feature more robust stakeholder engagement.

While formal outside events and stakeholder engagement were limited this week, the Commerce Department on September 8 launched the IPEF Upskilling Initiative — a public-private partnership dedicated to ensuring people in IPEF emerging economies have access to digital skills education. Commerce reports that “14 U.S. companies — Amazon and Amazon Web Services, American Tower, Apple, Cisco, Dell Technologies, Edelman Global Advisory (EGA), Google, HP, IBM, MasterCard, Microsoft, PayPal, Salesforce, and Visa — will each provide 500,000 or more upskilling opportunities that use digital tools for primarily women and girls in IPEF emerging economies and middle-income partners by 2032.”

For further information, please contact Director for International Policy Isabelle Icso (iicso@uschamber.com) or Senior Vice President for Asia Charles Freeman (cfreeman@uschamber.com).

Chamber Hosts India Ideas Summit 2022

On September 7, the U.S.-India Business Council hosted its flagship event, India Ideas Summit, at the Taj Palace Hotel, New Delhi. This year’s theme, “Maximizing the Next 75 Years of U.S.–India Prosperity,” reflects the milestone 75 years of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and India and the continued growth of our partnership for global good. The summit featured participation from top government speakers such as Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, the Honorable Minister of External Affairs for India; Nirmala Sitharaman, the Honorable Minister of Finance for India; Jennifer Granholm, U.S. Secretary of Energy; Donald Lu, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Central and South Asia Affairs, and many others.

The topics and themes of discussion at the 47th India Ideas Summit included:

·    Indo-Pacific: Strengthening the U.S.-India partnership in the context of the Indo-Pacific and a dynamic, competitive strategic environment;

·    Future of Energy: Driving U.S.-India cooperation to achieve energy security and seek pathways for climate-sensitive development;

·    Digital Economy: Leveraging U.S.-India tech convergence for a healthier digital economy; and

·    Social Development: Demonstrating how multinational corporations can promote social progress and gender equality in the U.S.-India corridor.

During the summit, U.S. Chamber Executive Vice President and Head of International Affairs Myron Brilliant emphasized the importance of trade engagement with India to America’s interests in the Indo-Pacific region in an op-ed in The Hill entitled “US-India trade is vital to shaping the future of the Indo-Pacific.” Brilliant encouraged the U.S. to engage in a robust trade strategy with India that leverages the relaunched U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum (TPF), the Biden administration’s Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), and the Quad platform. The U.S. and India should also look to negotiate a digital trade deal that supports the burgeoning digital economies in both countries, he wrote.

For further information, please contact U.S.-India Business Council President Atul Keshap (akeshap@uschamber.com).

Chamber Welcomes Truss as UK Prime Minister; Issues Condolences on Queen’s Passing

On September 6, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce released a statement congratulating Liz Truss on assuming the office of UK prime minister. The Chamber looks forward to working closely with her to strengthen the vital economic partnership between the United States and the United Kingdom. President and Chief Executive Officer Suzanne Clark stated:
“The U.S. and UK are staunch allies and partners. It is imperative we sustain and deepen our ties in the face of significant shared challenges, including rapidly rising energy prices, growing protectionism, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Resuming negotiation of a bilateral trade agreement should be the centerpiece of this effort. We look forward to working with Prime Minister Truss and her team to promote open markets, digitalization, innovation, energy security, and sustainable growth in the months and years ahead.”

Chair of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s U.S.-UK Business Council and Head of EMEA & CEO of Morgan Stanley International & Co. plc added:
“The UK and the U.S. are each other’s largest source of foreign direct investment, and our trade relationship—now worth over $225 billion annually—continues to grow despite economic headwinds. These economic ties support more than 2.7 million British and American jobs. We look forward to working closely with Prime Minister Truss to build on this solid foundation of success.”

Prime Minister Truss announced her cabinet and initial priorities for her tenure after being invited to form a government by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Sadly, those events took place just two days before the Queen’s death at the age of 96. Chamber President and CEO Suzanne Clark issued a statement:
“The U.S. Chamber of Commerce extends our sincere condolences to the family of Her Majesty The Queen and the citizens of the United Kingdom. Hers was an extraordinary life, her reign bearing witness to so many seminal moments of our shared history. The Queen was a fervent believer in the special relationship between the U.S. and UK, and we stand in solidarity with our friends across the Atlantic at this sad time.”

For further information, please contact Senior Vice President for Europe Marjorie Chorlins (mchorlins@uschamber.com).

Chamber Congratulates Kenya’s President-Elect Ruto

On September 8, President and CEO Suzanne Clark made the following statement after Kenya’s Supreme Court upheld the election of William Ruto to be President of Kenya:
“The U.S. Chamber of Commerce congratulates President-elect William Ruto on his election as the 5th President of Kenya. The Chamber’s U.S.-Africa Business Center and its member companies are committed to growing commercial relations between Kenya and the United States through the new strategic trade and investment partnership, continuing advocacy for a free trade pact, and building business linkages that promote inclusive economic growth. We look forward to advancing our collaboration with both governments to advance a stronger economic relationship befitting of the U.S.-Kenya strategic partners.”

For further information, please contact President of the U.S.-Africa Business Center Scott Eisner (seisner@uschamber.com).

Commerce Releases CHIPS for America Implementation Strategy

On September 6, the Department of Commerce released an implementation strategy for the $50 billion in funding for semiconductor manufacturing and research distributed through the CHIPS for America program. The strategy’s primary goals are to: 1) expand the domestic production of leading-edge semiconductors in the U.S., 2) build a sufficient supply of mature node semiconductors, 3) invest in R&D to produce the next generation of semiconductor technology domestically, and 4) create tens of thousands of manufacturing and construction jobs in the U.S.

The program is housed under the Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and will support three distinct initiatives:

  • Large Scale Investments in Leading-Edge Manufacturing: The CHIPS incentives program will distribute $28 billion in funding “to establish domestic production of leading-edge logic and memory chips that require the most sophisticated manufacturing processes available today.”
  • Manufacturing Capacity for Mature and Current-Generation Chips: $10 billion in funding will go toward efforts to “increase domestic production of semiconductors across a range of nodes including chips used in defense and in critical commercial sectors such as automobiles, information and communications technology, and medical devices.”
  • Initiatives to Strengthen U.S. Leadership in R&D: The CHIPS R&D program “will invest $11 billion in a National Semiconductor Technology Center, a National Advanced Packaging Manufacturing Program, up to three new Manufacturing USA Institutes, and in NIST metrology research and development programs.”

Read the full implementation strategy here, and visit the newly launched CHIPS.gov for additional information.

For further information, please contact Senior Vice President for International Policy John Murphy (jmurphy@uschamber.com).

Commerce Eases U.S. Participation in International Standards-Setting Bodies

In a FRN to be published today, the Commerce Department will issue an interim final rule that amends the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to authorize the release of certain technology and software in the context of standards setting and development in standards organizations. The proposed change aims to address U.S. industry concerns about whether BIS licenses are required to release low-level technology for legitimate standards activities to entities on the Entity List stemming from the listing of Huawei and its non-U.S. affiliates.

In a press release, Under Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Security Alan Estevez underscored that U.S. stakeholders’ engagement in international standards organizations is critical, particularly when the “sometimes invisible standards that they set have important national security as well as commercial implications.” Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration Thea Kendler added that the rule “continues to prevent technology transfers that harm our national security while ensuring that U.S. companies fully participate and lead in standards development.”

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

Business Groups Urge Kigali Amendment Ratification

On September 7, the U.S. Chamber and nine other business groups sent a multi-association letter to the Senate supporting ratification of the Kigali amendment to the Montreal Protocol. The Kigali Amendment, the groups write, would “showcase American climate leadership” and “is essential to provide access to international markets and level the playing field for leading U.S. manufacturers of the innovative replacements for hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).”

For further information, please contact Vice President for Environment and Sustainability Chuck Chaitovitz (cchaitovitz@uschamber.com).

Senate Finance Committee Approves Chief Agricultural Negotiator

On September 7, the Senate Finance Committee unanimously advanced the nomination for Doug McKalip to be Chief Agricultural Negotiator at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR). McKalip’s nomination will now go to the full United States Senate for confirmation. Ambassador Katherine Tai in a statement urged the Senate to confirm McKalip as soon as possible: “Doug’s decades of public service and his unparalleled knowledge of agricultural and food security issues will be a major asset to our office as we continue to advance a trade agenda that benefits our farmers, ranchers, and producers.”

For further information, please contact Senior Vice President for International Policy John Murphy (jmurphy@uschamber.com).

Commentary

US-India trade is vital to shaping the future of the Indo-Pacific
The Hill (September 7) by Myron Brilliant

Great Expectations for the Second U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit
The Foreign Service Journal (September 2022) by Kendra Gaither

Why the U.S.-Chile Tax Treaty Should be Ratified Immediately
U.S. Chamber (September 8) by John Murphy

Laying the Groundwork for Inclusive Growth Through Digital Trade with Colombia
U.S. Chamber (September 7) by Mauricio Ramos

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