US Funding of the OECD is Critical to US Global Economic Policy Influence

by Whitney Baird, USCIB President & CEO 

As Congress debates on whether to maintain the current levels of funding for the OECD, USCIB urges Congress to maintain the current level of U.S. financial contribution and stresses that diminishing funding will have consequences for U.S. economic interests and the U.S. role in multilateral policymaking.

 

Congress must maintain the current level of U.S. financial contribution to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The United States benefits most when we are fully engaged with the rest of the world through vibrant international organizations such as the OECD. It stands out as an established venue for promoting U.S. interests and fostering sensible policies for sustained economic growth among OECD partners and other nations around the globe.

Few of the international organizations to which the United States belongs are as supportive of U.S. values and economic policies as the OECD. The OECD’s mission is to promote global economic growth – growth that benefits U.S. businesses, consumers, workers and taxpayers. From a U.S. business perspective, the OECD is uniquely open and receptive to the views and real-world experiences of the private sector.

As the U.S. representative to Business at OECD, the private sector voice in OECD policymaking, the U.S. Council for International Business (USCIB) attests to the positive impact of the OECD across a range of issues affecting the competitiveness of the U.S. economy, including investment, taxation, trade, energy and environment, health, competition, consumer policy, bribery and corporate governance. USCIB members rely on the OECD to be an institutional voice of evidence- and data-based policy guidance and assessment, influencing policies and practices in markets important to U.S. business and to jobs generated for U.S. taxpayers.

The OECD delivers multilaterally agreed principles and standards that level the international playing field, provide business certainty, and save billions of dollars for U.S. companies. For example, the United Nations estimates over $1 trillion in bribes are paid worldwide each year, equating to a 20 percent tax on foreign investment. The OECD Anti-Bribery Convention enshrines the policies and principles of the US. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the gold standard for combating corrupt practices that increase the cost of doing business internationally.

The OECD’s creation of a global platform on product recalls has helped countries protect citizens from physical and economic harm, providing a single window for sharing information and facilitating action and coordination for recalls in a complex global marketplace. The OECD advances a critical U.S. risk-based approach to the development of digital rules and policies, for example, through its OECD Artificial Intelligence Principles, the OECD Privacy Guidelines and the OECD Policy Framework on Digital Security.

As one of the world’s largest and most trusted sources of data and analysis, OECD guidelines, rules and best practices are well regarded and emulated around the world by both member and non-member countries, OECD economists share information, encouraging countries to embrace high-level standards, so everyone plays by the same rules and cooperates on shared objectives. This is important to U.S. stakeholders, particularly as the OECD considers adding new members including current accession candidates Brazil, Peru, Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania. Crucially, the OECD and its 38 members serve as a powerful voice against anti-competitive and non-market economy practices aggressively promoted by nations such as China.

We believe continued strong U.S. engagement with the OECD helps the United States to lead the policy debates that take place in the wide range of OECD committees. We encourage Congress to maintain current funding levels for the OECD. If the United States diminishes its funding and influence in the OECD, the consequences for U.S. economic interests and the U.S. role in multilateral policymaking would be substantial.

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