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U.S. Chamber Newsletter- International Policy Update (4/29)

5 May 2022 Thursday

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U..S. Chamber of Commerce
International Policy Update
April 29, 2022
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Chamber to Host Global Forum May 10-11

Chamber Showcases U.S. Business Engagement in Africa

Senate Votes to Proceed to Conference on Bipartisan Innovation Act

U.S., Allies Increase Support for Ukraine

Business Groups Urge Finalization of Transatlantic Privacy Framework

USIBC Hosts Indian Finance Minister, Investors in Silicon Valley

USIBC Hosts Deputy National Security Advisor Neuberger in New Delhi

Chamber Responds to USTR Special 301 Report on Intellectual Property

Chamber Applauds LNG Export Approvals, Urges Further Action​​​​​​​

Commentary

Tariff Relief: A Tonic for the U.S. Economy

Global Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Met in DC: Here’s What You Need to Know
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Chamber to Host Global Forum May 10-11

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce will host its second annual Global Forum on May 10-11. Reflecting this year’s theme for the virtual event — “Competition in the Global Marketplace” — the program will explore how businesses, governments, and citizens are wrestling with substantial shifts in the global landscape. The event will explore how the competition for global markets is shaping firms’ ability to achieve sustainable, durable, and inclusive growth.

The program will feature conversations with government leaders, senior officials, and business executives on topics such as unlocking global financial markets, digitalization of the global economy, supply chain challenges, securing workable solutions to address climate change, energy security, and the geopolitical landscape in which all of these are unfolding. Confirmed speakers include: Ian Bremmer, President, Eurasia Group and Author of The Power of Crisis; Rich Carter, Vice President, Chief Digital Officer, Eli Lilly and Company; Mathias Cormann, Secretary-General, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development; H. E. Chan Heng Chee, Ambassador-at-Large, Singapore; Peter R. Huntsman, Chairman, President, Chief Executive Officer, Huntsman; Caroline Louveaux, Chief Privacy Officer, Mastercard; Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General, World Trade Organization; and Mike Parra, CEO, DHL Express Americas.

For further information and to register for the event, please click here.

Chamber Showcases U.S. Business Engagement in Africa

On April 22, the U.S. Chamber hosted H.E. Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of the United Republic of Tanzania, culminating an impactful week during which the U.S. Chamber’s U.S.-Africa Business Center hosted official delegations from South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Tunisia, and Congo.

During President Hassan’s visit, the U.S. Chamber oversaw the signing of more than $500 million in new investments in Tanzania, including the signing of a U.S. Chamber Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to expand trade and investment between the U.S. and Tanzania, one of the world’s fastest growing economies. The MOU with the Tanzania Trade Development Authority will support business linkages between the U.S. and Tanzania through the countries’ mutual commitment to share investment and trade information, co-host events including public- and private-sector trade policy dialogues, and collaborate on trade and investment forums and conferences, among other measures.

The signing was witnessed by President Hassan of Tanzania and U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Suzanne Clark and comes amid the Chamber’s deepening work in facilitating commercial opportunities in both the African and U.S. markets. The U.S. Chamber’s leadership in advancing a forward-leaning Africa policy will be further on display when the Chamber looks to play a role in the Biden-Harris Administration’s forthcoming US.-Africa Leader’s Summit.

U..S. Chamber President Suzanne Clark commented at the event:

“The caliber of businesses taking part in today’s roundtable demonstrates Tanzania’s upward trajectory as an international business partner and investment destination. The Chamber hosted signings for new private-sector investment and public-private partnerships in Tanzania worth at least $540 million. And all told, about $1 billion worth of deals will have been signed or announced during President Hassan’s trip to the U.S. over the past week. We believe this is just the beginning of what is to come.”

For further information, please contact Senior Vice President for Africa Scott Eisner (siesner@uschamber.com)..

Senate Votes to Proceed to Conference on Bipartisan Innovation Act

On April 28, the Senate voted 67-27 to proceed to conference on the final form of the “Bipartisan Innovation Act” based on the Senate-passed USICA and the House-passed America COMPETES bills. Next week, the chamber will hold votes on 28 “Motions to Instruct (MTI),” which are votes used to guide Senate positions as it enters into a formal conference. These MTIs were agreed upon by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

On the list of potential MTIs is one from Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), which would place counterproductive conditions on the incentives to be established under the CHIPS for America Act. The Chamber recently joined a multi-association letter urging senators to oppose this MTI, and the Chamber previously opposed the provisions in a blog post. Also on the list is one from Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) on establishing an exclusion process for goods subject to duties under Section 301, which the Chamber supports.

As shared earlier, the Chamber sent a letter to the full Congress on March 16 outlining the business community’s priorities for the legislation. Also this week, the Chamber joined a multi-association letter urging inclusion of a robust Miscellaneous Tariff Bill with full retroactivity in the final legislation.

The Chamber has held dozens of meetings with conferees at both the member and staff level and will continue to engage in efforts to shape the final bill as House and Senate lawmakers look to reconcile differences in their two versions. The 107 conferees include House conferees here and here and Senate conferees here and here.

For further information, please contact Director for International Policy Isabelle Icso (iicso@uschamber.com).

U.S., Allies Increase Support for Ukraine

On April 28, President Biden sent a request to Congress for $33 billion to fund longer-term assistance to Ukraine. The supplemental request includes $20.4 billion in military and security aid, $8.5 billion in economic assistance, and $3 billion in humanitarian aid. There is also targeted funding of $500 million to address food insecurity concerns by increasing crop production. Congress previously provided $13.6 billion in military, humanitarian, and economic aid to Ukraine.

Earlier this week, Secretary of State Blinken and Defense Secretary Austin met with President Zelensky in Kyiv, where they announced a further disbursement of $713 million in foreign military financing for Ukraine, $322 million of which would go to Ukraine with the rest going to NATO partners. Additionally, the U.S. convened a gathering of defense officials from more than 40 countries named the Ukraine Defense Consultative Group to discuss accelerating the supply of weapons to help Ukraine fend off Russia’s offensive in the south and east.

On the energy front, Russia cut off gas shipments to Poland and Bulgaria for their refusal to pay in rubles, as Russia laid out in a March decree. European Commission President von der Leyen accused Russia of using “gas as an instrument of blackmail” and ensured the bloc is continuing efforts to look for alternative sources of energy.

President Biden also released a proposal for a comprehensive legislative package to hold Russian oligarchs and elites accountable that “will establish new authorities for the forfeiture of property linked to Russian kleptocracy, allow the government to use the proceeds to support Ukraine, and further strengthen related law enforcement tools.”

The House passed a related bill on April 27 that would give the U.S. government more authority to seize certain Russian assets and divert them to help efforts in Ukraine related to reconstruction, humanitarian assistance and refugee support, and weapons assistance. The House also passed â€œLend-Lease” legislation, which unanimously passed the Senate earlier this month, to revive a World War II-era program that would cut down on barriers to the transfer of military equipment and other supplies to Ukraine. Just 10 House members opposed the bill.

Secretaries Blinken and Austin also told President Zelensky the U.S. intends to reopen its embassy in Kyiv, and President Biden announced that Bridget Brink, currently Ambassador to Slovakia, would be nominated to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine.

The European Union announced a proposal to temporarily suspend all duties on imports from Ukraine to help support Ukrainian producers and exporters navigating a war-torn economy. The proposal must go through both the European Parliament and the Council of the EU before it takes effect. The United Kingdom earlier led the way with a similar measure as well as an export ban on products and technology that Russia could use to “repress” Ukraine. The Biden administration has not announced whether it plans to provide a form of tariff relief to Ukraine.

Congressional Democrats announced plans for a legislative package they say would address rising gas prices due in part to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which would give the Federal Trade Commission and other agencies the authority to crack down on companies accused of gas price manipulation and price gouging The Chamber has argued for increased domestic energy production to address energy security and price concerns.

The Chamber will continue to monitor developments and engage with the administration and Congress as these policies are implemented. For further information, please contact Senior Vice President for International Policy John Murphy (jmurphy@uschamber.com) or Director for International Policy Isabelle Icso (iicso@uschamber.com). On matters related to Ukraine’s humanitarian crisis, please contact U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Senior Vice President Marc DeCourcey (mdecourcey@uschamber.com).

Business Groups Urge Finalization of Transatlantic Privacy Framework

The U.S. Chamber co-led a multi-association letter signed by 24 associations to President Biden commending the United States and the European Commission on the recent agreement in principle on a new Trans-Atlantic Data Privacy Framework. This framework will reaffirm the Privacy Shield program as a critical mechanism for trusted U.S.-EU data transfers while improving protections for individual privacy and civil liberties.

Companies of all sizes and across industries depend on international data flows to provide the goods and services that underpin the global economy. Transatlantic data flows account for more than one-half of Europe’s data transfers and nearly half of US data transfers, and with more than $6 trillion in transatlantic commercial sales a year, the economic implications are significant. There is a critical need for stable, reasonable, and trusted mechanisms that support responsible cross-border data flows across jurisdictions.

In the letter, the organizations emphasized that the Framework “can enable expanded transatlantic commerce, strengthen data protection, and provide a reliable legal framework for responsible transatlantic data transfers.”

For further information, please contact Vice President for International Digital Economy Policy Jordan Heiber (jheiber@uschambercom) or Senior Director for European Affairs Garrett Workman (gworkman@uschamber.com).

USIBC Hosts Indian Finance Minister, Investors in Silicon Valley

On April 25, the U.S. Chamber’s U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) co-hosted a roundtable for business leaders and investors featuring the Honorable Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Government of India, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman in Palo Alto, California. The roundtable, moderated by Ambassador (ret.) Atul Keshap, President, USIBC, was attended by senior executives, corporate officers, and fund managers representing combined assets under management of more than $1 trillion.

This executive gathering focused on the future promise of U.S.-India fintech collaboration and ways the investor community could support a global post-pandemic economic recovery, as well as the Government of India’s reform agenda and the opportunities to enhance U.S.-India commercial partnership.

Ambassador Keshap noted that “today’s excellent roundtable in Silicon Valley with Minister Sitharaman reflected her and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious vision for robust growth of a more inclusive and prosperous U.S.-India partnership. Our discussion reinforced that innovation around fintech will be a critical, catalytic opportunity to reach $500 billion in annual trade between the U.S. and India. Global leaders in these fields from USIBC and CII member companies shared an ambitious vision for how fintech can power a free and prosperous Indo-Pacific. I stand in strong support of what business leaders, VCs, and institutional investors are doing to make that vision possible.”

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

USIBC Hosts Deputy National Security Advisor Neuberger in New Delhi

On April 28, the U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) hosted an exclusive roundtable with Deputy National Security Advisor for Cyber and Emerging Technology Anne Neuberger in New Delhi. DNSA Neuberger leads the Quad Cyber and Emerging Technology (CET) working group, and she and USIBC members discussed avenues for U.S.-India cooperation in cybersecurity, 5G, AI, and semiconductors among other issues. A central theme was how the U.S.-India commercial partnership can deliver on shared strategic interests around these emerging technologies.

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

Chamber Responds to USTR Special 301 Report on Intellectual Property

On April 27, Senior Vice President of the U.S. Chamber Global Innovation Policy Center Patrick Kilbride issued the following statement in response to the release of the Special 301 Report by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR). The annual report reviews the global state of intellectual property (IP) rights protection and enforcement:

“Governments must choose: they can either support systems that allow individuals with a novel idea to have a fair shot at success or roll back intellectual property protections thus leading to less innovation, fewer choices, and less economic prosperity.

“Business and government have a responsibility to champion an intellectual property (IP) agenda that promotes innovation and creativity worldwide. While the global IP environment has improved over the last decade, the Special 301 Report shows that many nations still have far to go in providing and protecting intellectual property rights.

“As the Chamber’s International IP Index shows, intellectual property underpins the innovation ecosystem responsible for the research and investment that produce game-changing breakthroughs like the COVID-19 vaccines. Nations with strong IP rules were part of the solution as innovators raced to provide technological solutions during the pandemic, and those that have shunned IP rules were on the sidelines.”

To view the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s submission to this year’s Special 301 Report, click here.

Chamber Applauds LNG Export Approvals, Urges Further Action

On April 28, in response to the Department of Energy’s approval of two additional Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) export facilities to non-Free Trade Agreement (FTA) countries, U.S. Chamber Global Energy Institute President Marty Durbin made the following statement:

“We commend Secretary Granholm for approving two additional Liquified Natural Gas facilities to export to non-Free Trade Agreement countries. This decision is critical to meeting energy security objectives necessary to help Europe and other allies replace Russian natural gas with cleaner U.S. energy.

“The Department of Energy must now move quickly to approve the remaining long-pending applications. Doing so would send critical market signals to catalyze investment decisions necessary to bolster the important role of U.S. energy. We stand ready to support these efforts and advance a long-term strategy that enhances energy security while accelerating the clean energy transition.”

Commentary

Tariff Relief: A Tonic for the U.S. Economy
U.S. Chamber (April 28) by John Murphy

Global Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Met in DC: Here’s What You Need to Know
U..S. Chamber (April 22) by Gary Litman

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