House Overwhelmingly Approves Ex-Im
The House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly on October 27 to approve a bill to reform and reauthorize the U.S. Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im). The House voted by the robust margin of 313-118 to support the five-year bill, with 127 Republicans — a “majority of the majority” — voting in favor alongside all but one Democrat. The Senate approved the same bill by a vote of 64-29 on July 27. U.S. Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President for Government Affairs Bruce Josten issued this statement:
“Today’s vote in the House to reauthorize Ex-Im proves once more that a clear majority of the Congress is in favor of maintaining and reforming this important program. Ex-Im’s support levels the global market for American exporters and helps them remain competitive with their foreign counterparts. We applaud the leadership of Representatives Stephen Fincher, Frank Lucas, Maxine Waters, Steny Hoyer, Denny Heck, Gwen Moore and many other champions for bringing this bipartisan reform bill to a vote.
“Having now passed the House and Senate separately, it is time for Congress to take the necessary steps to send this legislation to the president’s desk, because the alternative is risking hundreds of thousands of American jobs and the livelihood of our small- and medium-size businesses.”
The Chamber has spared no effort in its advocacy for Ex-Im, leading a whole-of-organization campaign with our national federation, a communications push with paid and earned media, and an extensive, ongoing battery of meetings with Members of Congress. In the next few weeks we will continue to work with the House and Senate to leverage the momentum evident in this week’s vote to secure a successful legislative pathway for Ex-Im, possibly in conjunction with a multiyear transportation funding bill expected to be considered before its related policy authority expires on November 20. For further information, please contact Executive Director for International Policy Christopher Wenk (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Chamber Hosts President Joko Widodo, U.S.-Indonesia Investment Summit
On October 26, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in cooperation with the US-ASEAN Business Council and USINDO, hosted Indonesian President Joko Widodo for a gala dinner at the Chamber. President Widodo seized the occasion to declare that “Indonesia intends to join the TPP,” the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and he also reiterated his government’s focus on deregulation. Prior to the dinner, President Widodo met with U.S. Chamber President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue and a small group of senior corporate executives, and also witnessed a ceremony at which U.S. companies and their Indonesian partners signed or announced over a dozen deals totaling roughly $20 billion.
Earlier in the day, the U.S. Chamber, American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) Indonesia, and Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) co-hosted the third U.S.-Indonesia Investment Summit. U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman made opening remarks on U.S.-Indonesia commerce, and BPKM Chairman Franky Sibarani commented on alterations to the negative investment list (DNI).
In conjunction with the Summit, the Chamber, AmCham Indonesia Paramadina Policy Institute released the third annual study on foreign direct investment in Indonesia, Taking Stock: US-Indonesia Investment 2016 . The study found that American companies were poised to invest $61 billion over the next five years, yet noted that Indonesia’s overall regulatory system appears at times to be fragmented and uncoordinated, and that economic nationalist policies have harmed investor sentiment. For further information, please contact Senior Manager for Southeast Asia Natalie Obermann (email@example.com).
Chamber to Testify on EU Safe Harbor Decision
On November 3, U.S. Chamber Senior Vice President for International Affairs John Murphy willtestify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade hearing on “Examining the EU Safe Harbor Decision and Impacts for Transatlantic Data Flows.” The hearing will take place at 10:00 a.m. in 2123 Rayburn. For further information, please contact Director of the U.S. Chamber Center of Global Regulatory Cooperation Adam Schlosser (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Miami TTIP Round Concludes
Last week, the U.S. and EU negotiators for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) gathered in Miami for their 11th round of negotiations. The Chamber was among the earliest proponents of the TTIP and was on the ground to advocate on behalf of the business community, participate in stakeholder meetings, and host activities on the margins of the negotiations. Negotiations centered on the exchange of revised market access offers, which now cover 97% of all tariff lines on both sides, with duties going to zero for most lines upon the entry into force of the agreement. As the secretariat for the Business Coalition for Transatlantic Trade (BCTT), the Chamber hosted meetings with EU Chief Negotiator, Ignacio Garcia-Bercero; Christina Kopitopoulos (U.S.) and Antonis Kastrissianakis (EU) on Customs and Trade Facilitation; and Christina Sevilla (U.S.) on Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises. The 12th round of talks currently is expected in late January or early February in Brussels. For further information, please contact Marjorie Chorlins, Vice President for European Affairs (Washington) (email@example.com) or Peter Chase, Vice President for European Affairs (Brussels) (firstname.lastname@example.org).
European Commission Outlines 2016 Priorities
This week, the European Commission released its 2016 work plan [ press release] [FAQs], entitled, “No time for business as usual.” Trade, including concluding an ambitious TTIP deal with the United States, is at the heart of the EU’s growth strategy. Additionally, the EU aims to finalize agreement with Japan on an FTA, seal an investment agreement with China, and launch FTA negotiations with Australia and New Zealand, among other partners. Europe’s new Trade and Investment Strategy , released earlier this month outlines its approach to emphasize trade in services, e-commerce, access to natural resources and energy, and innovation-with a particular eye towards benefitting SMEs. For further information, please contact Marjorie Chorlins, Vice President for European Affairs (Washington) (email@example.com) or Peter Chase, Vice President for European Affairs (Brussels) (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Chamber Congratulates Speaker Ryan
On October 29, U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue issued the following statement on the election of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) as speaker of the House:
“We congratulate Rep. Paul Ryan on becoming the new speaker of the House and look forward to working with him and his team. He is an innovative, creative, and often courageous lawmaker. With budget fights and debt limit increases off the table until 2017, Speaker Ryan has an opportunity to focus the full attention of the people’s House on tackling some major issues that will fundamentally improve our economy. We stand ready to work with him to bolster the economy, create jobs, and provide opportunities to millions of Americans who want to work.”
As Chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee, Ryan played a leading role in the fight to renew Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) earlier this year and has long been a champion on trade issues. For further information, please contact Executive Director for International Policy Christopher Wenk (email@example.com).
Congressman Johnson Named Interim Head of Ways & Means
In the wake of Paul Ryan’s resignation as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairman Sam Johnson (R-TX) was named the committee’s acting chairman. During this period all committee business will continue as scheduled. Johnson released the following statement:
“I am honored to serve the Ways and Means Committee during this time of transition. Under Chairman Ryan’s leadership we have enjoyed great successes, and I will continue to focus our efforts on critical issues moving forward. Once the Steering Committee selects a new Chairman, I look forward to resuming my role as Chairman of Social Security Subcommittee.”
In the coming days, the Republican Steering Committee will meet to determine the next chairman of the full committee. Congressmen Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Pat Tiberi (R-OH) have expressed interest in chairing the committee; Devin Nunes (R-CA) on October 29 indicated he would not pursue the post. For further information, please contact Executive Director for International Policy Christopher Wenk ( firstname.lastname@example.org).
This Week in Trade: From the Chamber Blogs
There’s plenty of consensus when it comes to Europe’s Digital Single Market plans: Fostering the digital economy can be a ticket to growth. However, the details matter.
Last month, 12 nations including the United States finished negotiating a historic new trade agreement meant to ease the flow of goods and services across the Pacific. Indonesia would like to make it a baker’s dozen.
Thousands of American companies are one step closer to regaining access to resources that have for years helped them export their goods and services overseas and create jobs back home.
As U.S. and EU negotiators for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) gathered in Miami this week for their 11th round of negotiations, the message of the business community was clear: While we don’t discount the significant work that has been accomplished to this point, it’s time to pick up the pace.