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U.S. Chamber Newsletter-International Policy Update (8/26)

29 August 2022 Monday

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

International Policy Update

August 26, 2022

Indo-Pacific Economic Framework Ministerial Set for LA

Chamber Kicks Off National Roadshow “Advance with Africa”

Chamber Hosts Launch of U.S.-Brazil Clean Energy Industry Dialogue

White House Issues Executive Order Implementing CHIPS and Science Act

Chamber Hosts Indonesia Healthcare Mission in Jakarta

Chamber Submits Recommendations to Improve TTC Stakeholder Engagement

U.S., Taiwan Outline Negotiating Mandate for Trade Initiative

From the Home Front

Chamber Adds New Leadership in Tax Policy and Information Technology Roles

Commentary

Innovation in Focus: How India Can Become a Global R&D Powerhouse

In the Global Race to Lead on Artificial Intelligence, America Must Win

The U.S. Needs to Engage More with Cambodia, Not Less

Time to Advance with Africa: Seizing Opportunities with a Vital Continent

Energy Is Up on U.S.-Brazil Relations

Indo-Pacific Economic Framework Ministerial Set for LA

On August 23, the United States announced it will host members of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) for an in-person ministerial meeting in Los Angeles on September 8 and 9. Following a virtual gathering on July 26, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo will “continue active discussions in each of the four pillars,” according to a press release.

USTR indicates that trade ministers and other senior officials from most — if not all — of the participating economies are likely to attend. The ministerial is also expected to include an opportunity for stakeholder consultation, though the format of such engagement is still being determined.

On a related note, Politico reported on August 15 that Dawn Shackleford, Assistant USTR for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, is moving to the Commerce Department to take a job as executive director for trade agreements, policy, and negotiations, beginning at the end of this month. Shackleford had been the lead USTR negotiator for the IPEF. Sarah Ellerman, who has been with USTR since 2014, will be acting AUSTR for Southeast Asia and the Pacific and will take over the chief IPEF negotiator role.

The Chamber in April submitted comments to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the Department of Commerce outlining suggested points for inclusion in the four pillars – (1) fair and resilient trade, (2) supply chain resilience, (3) infrastructure, clean energy, and decarbonization, and (4) tax and anti-corruption. The Chamber encouraged the administration to act quickly on IPEF, draw on trade disciplines the U.S. has developed in other contexts, take advantage of IPEF’s flexible framework to achieve desired outcomes, and engage with public and private stakeholders.

For further information, please contact Senior Vice President for Asia Charles Freeman (cfreeman@uschamber.com).

Chamber Kicks Off National Roadshow “Advance with Africa”

On September 6, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, will kick off its “Advance with Africa” roadshow in Atlanta at the Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs, a hub for Black business owners and entrepreneurs. The roadshow, which will go on to make stops at cities across the country, is aimed at increasing U.S. businesses’ understanding of commercial opportunities in Africa, transforming the narrative around Africa’s business climate, and dispelling myths—creating new opportunities for American businesses, big and small.

Speakers, panelists, and participants will include public- and private-sector leaders, among them Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens, Tanzania’s Ambassador to the United States Dr. Elsie S. Kanza, Georgia Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Chris Clark, President of the U.S. Chamber’s U.S.-Africa Business Center Scott Eisner, the U.S. Chamber’s Senior Vice President of Strategic Alliances and Outreach Rick Wade, and Atlanta-based minority business leaders and business owners.

U.S.-Africa Business Center President Scott Eisner stated:

“Strengthening U.S.-Africa ties begins on the American and African Main Streets. Through discussions, engagements, and panels detailing how U.S. businesses can succeed in Africa, ‘Advance with Africa’ will increase U.S. exports and investment, educate and empower small and medium-sized enterprises, and grow commercial opportunities, making a difference from Atlanta to Africa. The roadshow’s focus on engaging diaspora communities and minority- businesses will lead to a transformation that ensures prosperity and equitable growth for Americans and Africans alike.”

President & CEO of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce Chris Clark stated:

“The spirit of entrepreneurialism is in our DNA as Georgians, and we’re proud that our capital city is officially kicking off this nationwide initiative from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Africa’s population will nearly double by 2050 to 2.5 billion, presenting bold business opportunities for Georgia’s tens of thousands of small- and medium-sized businesses.”

To learn more about Advance with Africa, register to attend, or watch a livestream of the kickoff event click here. Additional cities on the roadshow will include Houston, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.

The Advance with Africa roadshow is a key component of the U.S. Chamber’s campaign to deepen the U.S. relationship with Africa in the near- and long-term: The U.S. Chamber will be engaging African leaders during September’s UN General Assembly meetings and the UN Climate Change Conference 2022, to be held in Egypt in November. In December, the Chamber will formally announce the winner of the 2022 Africa Digital Innovation Competition, which benefits innovators, entrepreneurs, and startup founders across Africa for developing digital solutions that have a positive impact on African citizens. In December, the Chamber will also be supporting the U.S.-Africa Business Forum, the official private sector component of the Biden-Harris Administration’s U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, the first state-level gathering of African leaders and a U.S. President since 2014.

In another development involving the Chamber’s Africa program, the U.S.-Africa Business Center, in partnership with AmChams across Africa, on August 18 announced the 2022 Africa Digital Innovation Competition’s Regional Champions and top 10 Continental finalists. This annual competition rewards African innovators, entrepreneurs, and startups for developing solutions through digital products and services that have a positive impact on African citizens.

President of the U.S.-Africa Business Center Scott Eisner stated:

“The ongoing digital transformation across Africa is actively laying the foundation for inclusive recovery, economic opportunity, and creating jobs. In collaboration with our generous sponsors and partners, the U.S. Chamber is proud to provide benefit to innovators and entrepreneurs across Africa whose bold digital initiatives advance solutions to some of the continent’s most pressing challenges, like food insecurity, lack of healthcare access, e-education, and financial inclusion. We commend the finalists of the 2022 Africa Digital Innovation Competition, who are proving that Africa’s digital future continues to be bright.”

The top three winners of the competition will be announced in December in Washington DC. For more in-depth information on our five regional champions and ten continental finalists, visit here to watch their video testimonials about how their innovations and inventions are contributing to advancing Africa’s digital transformation. Learn more about our judges here, who lent their expertise and insights to a selection process accredited by KPMG, to help select the top ten finalists from the over 1,700 entrepreneurs who applied from nearly 50 countries across the continent.

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

Chamber Hosts Launch of U.S.-Brazil Clean Energy Industry Dialogue

On August 18, the U.S. and Brazil launched the U.S.-Brazil Clean Energy Industry Dialogue (CEID) at an event at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The CEID is a new forum for public-private discussion and partnership that will complement the U.S.-Brazil Energy Forum (USBEF) agenda and allow for new initiatives on clean energy that are driven by the private sector.

U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm and Brazilian Minister of Mines and Energy Adolfo Sachsida joined the program, which brought together the public and private sectors of both countries to celebrate this new chapter in bilateral cooperation on clean energy. The event included a series of interactive, moderated discussions on clean hydrogen, offshore wind, storage and grid modernization, carbon management, and sustainable fuels. The U.S. Chamber highlighted further opportunities and next steps for U.S.-Brazil energy collaboration in a blog post.

For further information, please contact the Brazil-U.S. Business Council’s Renata Vasconcellos (rvasconcellos@uschamber.com).

White House Issues Executive Order Implementing CHIPS and Science Act

On August 25, the Biden administration issued an Executive Order (EO) on the Implementation of the CHIPS Act of 2022, which President Biden signed into law on August 9. The EO aims to “effectively implement the incentives for semiconductor research, development, and manufacturing” in the bill and establishes a CHIPS Implementation Steering Council to coordinate policy development and ensure effective implementation across government agencies. The steering council will be comprised of the heads of thirteen executive departments, agencies, and offices and will be co-chaired by the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, and the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy.

The Chamber welcomed passage of the CHIPS and Science Act in a statement and will track implementation closely to ensure it achieves its goals of spurring economic growth, boosting manufacturing, and safeguarding our national security

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

Chamber Hosts Indonesia Healthcare Mission in Jakarta

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and AmCham Indonesia hosted a health care mission, “Healthcare Reboot: Post-Pandemic Strategies and Investment Opportunities,” in Jakarta on August 10 and 11. The mission included a series of in-person and hybrid meetings with U.S. Ambassador Sung Kim and U.S. embassy staff, the Minister of Health, Indonesia’s food and drug administration, the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, and other ministries and agencies. Nearly 20 leading companies in the pharmaceutical, medical device, and digital health space participated.

For further information, please contact Senior Director for Southeast Asia Shannon Hayden (shayden@uschamber.com).

Chamber Submits Recommendations to Improve TTC Stakeholder Engagement

Earlier this month, the U.S. Chamber wrote to senior leaders at the National Security Council, Department of Commerce, Office of the Trade Representative, and Department of State outlining a series of proposed reforms to enhance stakeholders’ abilities to engage with the U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council (TTC).

The Chamber, committed to the success of the TTC, believes it can generate commercially meaningful improvements in transatlantic ties at a pivotal moment for both the U.S. and Europe as the two nations face a growing number of shared economic and geopolitical challenges. Still, effective stakeholder consultation is essential to ensure the TTC delivers meaningful results and has staying power. With that in mind, the Chamber proposed that stakeholder views be effectively considered throughout the policymaking process — before, during, and after high-level ministerial meetings. The Chamber also volunteered to serve as a convenor of the business community to engage across the U.S. government as the TTC’s work continues.

For further information, please contact Executive Director for Europe Garrett Workman (gworkman@uschamber.com).

U.S., Taiwan Outline Negotiating Mandate for Trade Initiative

On August 17, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative issued a press release outlining a negotiating mandate for formal bilateral talks for the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade under the auspices of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO). The first round of negotiations will take place early in the fall.

The negotiating mandate outlines 11 areas for further cooperation and alignment to be discussed in forthcoming talks, including:

  • Trade facilitation;
  • Good regulatory practices;
  • Anticorruption;
  • Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs);
  • Agriculture;
  • Standards;
  • Digital trade;
  • Labor;
  • Environment;
  • State-owned enterprises (SOEs); and
  • Non-market policies and practices.

The U.S. Chamber submitted recommendations on the trade initiative in July. The comments outline the important commercial and economic relationship between the two economies and argue that the relationship would be strengthened by including market access provisions, which are currently not slated for inclusion in the initiative. The recommendations address several areas for improved regulatory and normative harmonization, many of which are included in the official objectives.

For further information, please contact Senior Vice President for Asia Charles Freeman (cfreeman@uschamber.com).

From the Home Front

Chamber Adds New Leadership in Tax Policy and Information Technology Roles

On August 10, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce today announced key hires focusing on tax policy and information technology roles. Watson M. McLeish has joined the Chamber as Senior Vice President, Tax Policy, and Bill Jewell as Chief Information Officer.

Watson McLeish will further strengthen the Chamber’s mission of advocating for policies that support American businesses, grow the economy, and strengthen communities.

Watson most recently served as Tax Counsel for the Tax Executives Institute (TEI) in Washington, D.C., the preeminent association of in-house tax professionals worldwide. There, he was responsible for advancing TEI’s advocacy priorities on Capitol Hill and with the Treasury Department’s Office of Tax Policy and Internal Revenue Service.

Prior to his time at TEI, Watson worked in the National Tax Department – International Tax Services practice at Ernst & Young LLP where he advised domestic and foreign clients on a wide range of U.S. federal income tax law and policy issues related to international business transactions. Since January 2019, Watson has also served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at the Georgetown University Law Center, where he teaches a graduate-level seminar on tax research and writing.

Bill Jewell has joined the U.S. Chamber after serving at The College Board for over a decade, including most recently as Chief Information Security Officer and Vice President of Technology. In that role, Bill built and led an information security program designed to protect the data of over 100 million students, parents, and educators. Bill has deep experience in cyber defense, engineering, data management, and governance.

As Chief Information Officer at the Chamber, Bill will oversee the Chamber’s technical infrastructure, engineering, cybersecurity, information risk management, and compliance. Bill will also lead the continued modernization of important corporate business systems, and the Chamber’s data and business intelligence strategy and execution.

Bill received his undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master of Arts degree from Georgetown University. He earned a CISO Certificate from the Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon. Most recently, Bill graduated magna cum laude with a JD from the Georgetown University Law Center.

Commentary

Innovation in Focus: How India Can Become a Global R&D Powerhouse

U.S. Chamber (August 25) by Arjit Roshan and Agnideep Mukherjee

In the Global Race to Lead on Artificial Intelligence, America Must Win

U.S. Chamber (August 16) by Tom Quaadman

The U.S. Needs to Engage More with Cambodia, Not Less

U.S. Chamber (August 11) by John Goyer

Time to Advance with Africa: Seizing Opportunities with a Vital Continent

U.S. Chamber (August 10) by Scott Eisner

Energy Is Up on U.S.-Brazil Relations

U.S. Chamber (August 4) by Renata Vasconcellos

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