U.S. Policy Update for Monday, 11 July 2016

Today’s topics: Farnborough International Airshow  / Treasury’s Lew travel to UK / South China Sea / Open Disclosure Law changes

Farnborough International Airshow (FIA)

The Farnborough International Airshow 2016 is a biennial international trade fair for the aerospace industry to demonstrate both civilian and military aircraft to potential customers and investors.  The show was first established in 1948 as a way for the British public to see and learn about the best of British aviation engineering.  Since then, Farnborough has emerged as the world’s premier global showcase for all equipment in the aerospace industry.

The 2016 Farnborough airshow will take place July 11th – 17th.   The U.S. Commercial Service UK will be at the show in Hall 2, stand A69.

Portrait of Secretary Penny Pritzker
Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker

08 July 2016 U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker to Travel to Europe U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker will make an official visit to Europe from July 10-13, stopping in London and at the Farnborough International Air Show before continuing on to Brussels, Berlin, and Rome.  In London, Secretary Pritzker will meet with representatives of U.S. firms operating in the U.K. to discuss the impact of the Brexit vote on their businesses.
At the Farnborough Air Show, Secretary Pritzker will highlight the importance of the U.S. aerospace industry to the U.S. economy and national security. She will make remarks at the opening ceremony of the U.S. Pavilion and meet with some of the 360 U.S. firms with a presence at the show

08 July 2016 Department of State Promotes U.S. Aerospace and Defense Technology at the Farnborough Air Show    Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Tina Kaidanow will join a delegation of senior U.S. officials attending the Farnborough Air Show in the United Kingdom from July 11-13, 2016. The delegation will advocate for U.S. selection in foreign commercial and defense contracts, promote U.S. defense sales abroad, and discuss how Export Control Reform supports our partners and allies.
Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker will head the U.S. delegation, which also includes Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics Frank Kendall, Assistant Secretary of the Navy Sean Stackley, and Director of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency Vice Admiral Joseph Rixey. Senior military leadership from the U.S. European Command will also attend.

Department of the Treasury

Head and shoulders of a man
Secretary of the Treasury Jacob J. Lew

08 July 2016 U.S. Treasury Secretary Lew to Travel to France, The United Kingdom, Belgium and Germany    The U.S. Department of the Treasury today announced that Secretary Jacob J. Lew will travel to Paris, London, Brussels and Berlin from July 11 through July 14.

In each city, Secretary Lew will meet with international counterparts to discuss continued economic stability and shared economic growth in the United Kingdom, Europe, and globally following the United Kingdom’s referendum on membership in the European Union.


South China Sea

Aerial view of a reef and boats
Several nations claim Subi Reef, in the South China Sea’s Spratly Islands. By June 2015, China had dredged and reclaimed over 6 million square meters of land in the area. Land-reclamation efforts like this one damage coral and other marine life, and the livelihood of surrounding fishing communities.

08 July 2016 The South China Sea: Why it matters   The South China Sea is among the most beautiful places on Earth. It contains more than 250 small islands, atolls, cays, shoals, reefs and sandbars and over 6,500 marine species. French marine explorer Jacques Cousteau once called the area “an untouched piece of art.” But now this irreplaceable marine habitat, its sea creatures and the livelihoods of regional fishermen are under threat.

Destruction of coral reefs and the living marine resources that depend on them also may further increase tensions in the South China Sea and the risk of conflict.

People depend upon the natural resources of South China Sea nations, and scientists should work together to understand how overfishing, coral reef destruction and land reclamation affect humans and wildlife. Their cooperation may help maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea.

Open Disclosure

Hand holding a magnifying glass over a stack of documents
FOIA Open disclosure law

08 July 2016 U.S. updates disclosure law Journalists have used it to find out how many times lobbyists have visited the White House. Historians have used it to search for undiscovered information about the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Conspiracy theorists have used it to research a supposed crash of an alien spacecraft in Roswell, New Mexico.

It is the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), a half-century-old law now updated to give the public even more access to government documents and records.

The changes to FOIA that President Obama signed into law on June 30 will require that federal agencies consider releasing records under a “presumption of openness” standard, instead of presuming that the information is secret.