Chamber Leads Lawsuit Against Unprecedented Work Visas Restrictions
On July 21, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Retail Federation, and others sued to challenge federal restrictions on businesses’ ability to meet their workforce needs through lawful immigration. U.S. Chamber CEO Thomas J. Donohue released the following statement after the suit was filed:
“the most restrictionist immigration policies in nearly a century. This is a fundamental mistake at a time when our nation’s economy is already suffering.
“If you want businesses to grow and the economy to rebound, you allow skilled workers to come here legally to work and contribute to the well-being of our nation; you don’t lock them out. If you want the next revolutionary start-up to be founded in America, you welcome foreign students; you don’t threaten to upend their lives and send them home during the middle of a pandemic.”
On July 21, the U.S. Chamber Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC) launched its Discover and Deliver initiative to show what the nation’s brightest scientific minds and most innovative companies are doing to discover effective treatments and cures for COVID-19, outlined in an interactive map which depicts where COVID-19-related innovations are being developed in the United States.
The map reveals that there are currently 560 clinical trials of potential COVID-19 solutions in all 50 states, across 85 percent of congressional districts.
Discover and Deliver puts on full display the unprecedented scope and speed of what companies are actively doing to defeat COVID-19, and how policymakers can help accelerate the process by protecting intellectual property, removing trade barriers, like unnecessary tariffs and export bans, and encouraging strategic collaboration through public-private partnerships.
“When it comes to the fight against COVID-19, every community’s contribution counts,” said David Hirschmann, CEO of the U.S. Chamber GIPC. “This has to be, and is, an all-of-nation effort. In the United States alone, the size and scope of this effort is staggering. Our new interactive map we are launching today tells the story of that amazing scope in a visual, digestible way.”
The campaign kicked off with a virtual public event featuring leading voices from the business community, biopharma innovators, and those directing clinical trials in communities across the nation. The Discover and Deliver campaign will also sponsor a series of virtual events to help disseminate information and hold space for discussion at the local level.
The campaign’s next event will spotlight a local community’s efforts, inviting participants to consider a ”boots on the ground” view of progress underway.
“Today’s event was a good reminder that we’re all in this together, and we all have a part to play,” said Hirschmann. “If we all play our parts, we can help ensure that the innovative discoveries happening today can be delivered to people tomorrow.”
Each week the U.S. Chamber spotlights companies on the front-line search for effective treatments and vaccines to combat COVID-19, to access the entire catalog of articles, visit the U.S. Chamber Global Innovation Policy Center’s Discover & Deliver page.
Chamber Sends Association Letter Urging Updates to Privacy Shield
As we reported last week, the European Court of Justice ruled on July 16 in Data Protection Commissioner v Facebook Ireland, Maximillian Schrems (“Schrems II”) that the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield is no longer a valid mechanism for transferring personal data. The Court however upheld the validity of the Standard Contractual Clauses, which remain an important, privacy protective mechanism for transferring data.
In response, on July 17, the Chamber led an association letter, sent to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, urging the U.S. administration to work collaboratively with its EU counterparts to develop a stable and sustainable mechanism for companies to transfer data between the European Union and the United States. The letter highlights the importance of regulators to ensuring data transfers can continue while a new agreement is under discussion.
“More than 5,300 U.S. companies use the Privacy Shield, and those businesses contribute significantly to the nearly $1.1 trillion in total U.S. trade in goods and services with the European Union. Companies in the automotive, retail, hospitality, logistics, health care, manufacturing and human resource management fields are all certified to the Privacy Shield Program. Small and medium sized businesses account for more than 70% of Privacy Shield participants.
“The effects of [last] Thursday’s decision reach far beyond the more than 5,300 Privacy Shield- certified companies. Indeed, Privacy Shield certified companies have suppliers of goods and services, comprising a network of tens of thousands of additional companies, all of which indirectly rely upon Privacy Shield. The decision also comes at a particularly precarious time for American businesses, as the COVID-19 pandemic has led many to use remote services and rely on the ability to move data across the globe.”
SFRC Republicans Introduce China Legislation
On July 22, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jim Risch (R-ID) and colleagues introduced the Strengthening Trade, Regional Alliances, Technology, Economic and Geopolitical Initiatives concerning China (STRATEGIC) Act. According to a press release, the objective of the legislation is “to advance a comprehensive strategy for U.S. competition with the People’s Republic of China (PRC).” Key provisions include:
Tackle China’s economic practices that distort global markets and hurt U.S. businesses, especially IP theft and mass government subsidization and sponsorship of Chinese companies;
Confront tech competition by increasing technology collaboration with allies and partners;
Safeguard institutions from malign and undue PRC influence;
Strengthen U.S. posture in the Indo-Pacific to protect its interests, allies, and partners; and
Prioritize cooperation over conflict when possible on areas such as arms control, North Korea, and the environment, if the PRC demonstrates good faith and transparency.
To view a copy of the legislation, click here.
For a section by section summary, click here.
For further information, please contact China Center President Jeremie Waterman (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Finance Committee to Hold Hearings on Medical Supplies, WTO
On Tuesday, July 28, at 10:15 a.m. the Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing entitled “Part 1: Protecting the Reliability of the U.S. Medical Supply Chain During the COVID-19 Pandemic”. Witnesses include:
Cargo And Conveyance Security, Office Of Field Operations, United States Customs and Border ProtectionSteve K. Francis
Assistant Director, Homeland Security Investigations Global Trade Investigations Division, Director, National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center
United States Immigration, Customs, and EnforcementSoraya Correa
Chief Procurement Officer, United States Department of Homeland Security
For more information about the hearing, click here.On Wednesday July 29, at 10:15 a.m. the Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing entitled “WTO Reform: Making Global Rules Work For Global Challenges”. Witnesses include:
Senior Fellow For Trade And International Political Economy, Council on Foreign RelationsThomas R. Graham
Partner, Cassidy Levy KentLaura J. Lane
President, Global Public Affairs, UPS
Joseph Glauber, Ph.D
Senior Research Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute
Vice President, Ocean Policy, World Wildlife Fund