USCIB joined Business at OECD (BIAC) to advocate member interests in Paris at the October meetings of the OECD Trade and Investment Committees.
Under consideration by the OECD Trade Committee were the trade impacts of the war in Ukraine and the process for considering the OECD accession candidates—Brazil, Bulgaria, Croatia, Peru and Romania. According to USCIB Director for Trade, Investment and China Alice Slayton Clark, who attended the meetings in Paris, of concern is managing OECD overload from undertaking market openness reviews for all five candidates, with the European countries likely to be fast-tracked due to their adherence to the European Single Market and Common Commercial Policy. BIAC stressed the importance of a robust role for business throughout the accession process, having already presented preliminary trade, tax and other business concerns for each candidate.
At the OECD Investment Committee meetings, BIAC urged countries to safeguard an enabling environment for private investment as the world is increasingly unstable due to national security concerns, and as the global rules-based trading system is under challenge.
“This is an imperative as private investors are pressed more than ever to contribute to COVID recovery and help emerging economies combat climate change, develop clean energy, improve healthcare and infrastructure, and bridge the digital divide,” asserted Clark. BIAC also urged OECD to pay special attention to in-and outbound investment screening, and to catalog strategies countries have developed to deal global value chain vulnerabilities.
USCIB used the opportunity to urge OECD staff and U.S. policymakers to promote the moratorium on customs duties on electronic transmissions (e-commerce moratorium) through market openness reviews of OECD candidates. The OECD was also encouraged to provide additional studies to help inform the WTO Joint Statement Initiative on E-commerce work program on the benefits of the moratorium for digital services in emerging economies.
Concurrently, OECD held its annual Global Trade Forum focused on the intersection of trade and responsible business conduct (RBC), with significant discussion about promoting more coordination and transparency as states and international organizations increasingly impose mandatory and voluntary RBC measures on supply chains. While RBC is good for business, BIAC warned policymakers to provide proper balance and not overload trade agreements with environmental and social expectations that countries cannot achieve through rule of law enforcement.