OECD Week Addresses Global Challenges with Business Input

 

Peter M. Robinson at OECD Week in Paris

USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson was in Paris last week for OECD Week, which tackled issues such as international tax rules, globalization challenges and anti-trade rhetoric. Addressing Ministers of Finance and Foreign Affairs at the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting on June 7, Business at OECD (BIAC) Chair Phil O’Reilly called on governments to address the challenges of strengthening growth and boosting economic participation, emphasizing that ultimately societies can only support economic openness, when it is accompanied by appropriate domestic policies to prepare people for change, with better skills and more opportunities for economic participation.” O’Reilly drew upon principles highlighted in the recently released Business at OECD 2017 Statement to Ministers, which contains the core business recommendations to strengthen open economies and inclusive societies. This paper is a call to action for OECD governments to implement a comprehensive competitiveness agenda, and also better engage with the public, especially regarding the opportunities that come with trade and investment.

In a similar statement, Business at OECD Secretary General Bernhard Welschke encouraged governments to better address an increasing anti-trade rhetoric in OECD countries, highlighting that “both business and trade unions have a responsibility to communicate in a fair, balanced, and responsible manner.” Also speaking at the session on International Trade and Investment for the Benefit for All, Business at OECD (BIAC) Vice Chair and USCIB Board member Charles R. Johnston (Citi) encouraged governments to counteract on protectionist action in the form of growing non-tariff barriers, and pointed to areas where new OECD work would help better inform this debate. Business also emphasized that governments should fully use the OECD Investment Restrictiveness Index and implement the Policy Framework for Investment.

On international tax policy, Business at OECD (BIAC) was present at the official signing ceremony for the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures (MLI) to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS), which took place at the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting. The MLI opens the door to changes in the tax treaty process, and to a number of key international tax rules, that are significant. Concurrently, USCIB and the OECD were holding their 12th annual international tax conference in Washington DC, which brought together over 300 tax policy experts.

Annual OECD Tax Conference Showcases Tax Reform

Mark Prater, chief tax counsel for the Senate Finance Committee, spoke at the conference.

Against the backdrop of new global tax rules developed under the BEPS Action Plan and efforts to advance tax reform in the United States, USCIB members and others from the business community gathered in Washington, D.C. on Monday and Tuesday for the 12th annual OECD International Tax Conference.

Organized by USCIB in concert with the 35-nation Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development as well as Business at OECD (BIAC), the conference has grown into an annual must-attend event for tax practitioners, experts and regulators from around the world.

With an eye toward the direction of possible U.S. tax reform, including reduction of the top corporate tax rate from the current 35 percent, Pascal Saint-Amans, director of the OECD’s Center for Tax Policy and Administration, told conference-goers that he expects most OECD economies to adopt corporate tax rates in the 20-30 percent range. Saint-Amans said there may be some exceptions, including in the UK, where top rates may drop below 20 percent.

Other speakers picked up the theme. “The current U.S. system is broken,” said Mark Prater, chief tax counsel and deputy staff director of the Senate Finance Committee, during keynote luncheon remarks. “Tax reform is a difficult political transaction,” he observed, but “the U.S. sits at a crossroads of reform, which is an opportunity that has not been available in a generation.”

Over the course of the two-day conference, which took place at the Four Seasons Hotel, participants discussed tax policy trends, current tax reform, tax uncertainty, digitalization, increases in intangible assets, and dealing with tax-related disputes through arbitration. They also focused on transfer pricing as well as the OECD’s new multilateral instrument, signed today in Paris.

“The conference provides a real opportunity for dialogue between business, governments, and the OECD,” said USCIB Vice President and International Tax Counsel Carol Doran Klein. “This year, because the focus is now on BEPS implementation, there was good discussion of opportunities to improve tax certainty, including a pilot International Compliance Assurance Program, Advanced Pricing Agreements and an improved Mutual Agreement Procedure.”

On the multilateral instrument, Will Morris, chair of the BIAC Committee on Taxation and Fiscal Affairs, told Bloomberg BNA: “Many of us in the business community doubted the OECD would get the consensus necessary for a document of this scope and substance. But they have, and [the multilateral instrument] opens the door to changes in the tax treaty process, and to a number of key international tax rules, that are significant.”

Business at OECD Gears Up for OECD Ministerial Council Meeting

Business at OECD (BIAC) will be hosting executive leadership, including USCIB’s President and CEO Peter M. Robinson, and Citi’s Rick Johnston, USCIB board member and BIAC vice chair at their General Assembly in Paris this week. Business at OECD will also participate in the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting, which will bring together economy, finance and trade ministers from OECD countries to discuss strategic orientations for the coming years under the theme “Making Globalization Work.”

Business at OECD will provide guidance to OECD and governments on addressing the challenges of strengthening growth and boosting economic participation, drawing upon its 2017 statement to Ministers, which includes recommendations on:

  • Support a better business environment and map competitiveness
  • Create the conditions to benefit from trade and investment on a level playing field
  • For growth and investment, ensure good governance and predictable tax policies
  • Increase participation by promoting the skills and competencies to thrive in the digital era
  • Focus on entrepreneurship

2017 OECD Tax Conference

 

The 2017 OECD International Tax Conference

Final Agenda

 Four Seasons Hotel, Washington D.C
June 5-6, 2017

Keynote Speech by Mark Prater – Chief Tax Counsel and Deputy Staff Director for the Republican staff of the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Finance

The OECD, USCIB and BIAC, in cooperation with IFA-USA, ITPF, NFTC, OFII, TCPI, TEI and Tax Foundation, will host a conference on the OECD’s new international taxation initiatives on June 5-6, 2017 in Washington, D.C. This annual conference provides a unique opportunity for the U.S. business community to interact with key representatives from the OECD Centre for Tax Policy and Administration and senior tax officials from the U.S. and other key countries involved in the OECD’s international tax work.

For more information, please contact Erin Breitenbucher (202-682-7465 or ebreitenbucher@uscib.org).

For information on how you can become a sponsor of the 2017 conference, please contact Abby Shapiro (617-515-8492 (mobile) / 212-703-5064 or ashapiro@uscib.org)

Final Agenda

Participant Information

Hotel Room Block

Key Topics:

  • Tax Reform Trends
  • Improving Tax Certainty
  • Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (MLI)
  • Transfer Pricing
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Inclusive Framework on BEPS & Developing Countries

Featured Speakers:

  • Pascal Saint-Amans – Director of the Center for Tax Policy & Administration, OECD
  • Martin Kreienbaum – Director General, International Taxation, Federal Ministry of Finance, Germany
  • Mike Williams – Director, Business and International Tax, HM Treasury
  • Doug O’Donnell – Commissioner, Large Business and International (LB&I) Division, IRS
  • Grace Perez-Navarro – Deputy Director of the CTPA, OECD
  • Achim Pross – Head of International Cooperation and Tax Administration, OECD
  • Jefferson Vanderwolk – Head of the Tax Treaty, Transfer Pricing & Financial Transactions Division, OECD
  • James Karanja – Head of joint OECD/UNDP Tax Inspectors Without Borders (TIWB) Initiative
  • Will Morris – Chairman, BIAC Committee on Taxation and Fiscal Affairs
  • Other Senior Treasury and Foreign Tax Policy Officials

2016 Conference Recap: USCIB Tax Conference Tackles BEPS Implementation

More on USCIB’s Taxation Committee

2017 Conference Sponsored By:

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PWC

 

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exxonmobil

 

 

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Print

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Exhibitors:

 

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Presented by:

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OECD

Business at OECD Logo - 2016

In association with:

IFA Logo
ITPF
NFTC logo
Organization for International Investment
TCPI
Tax Executives Institute, Inc.

OECD Tax Conference: Information for Participants

Conference Materials:

  • USB Flash Drives with Background Documents will be included in materials handed out to attendees. Electronic copies are available to registered participants upon request.

PowerPoint Presentations

  • Hard Copies of PowerPoint Presentations will not be distributed. Electronic copies are available to registered participants upon request. 

Conference Logistics:

Location Details: The conference will be held at the Four Seasons Hotel located at 2800 Pennsylvania Avenue NW. The meeting portion of the conference will take place in the Corcoran Ballroom located on the Banquet level. The Reception on Monday, June 5th will take place in the Seasons Restaurant on the Lower Lobby Level.  The Luncheon on Tuesday, June 6th will take place in the Dumbarton Conservatory next door to the Corcoran Ballroom.

Wireless Internet:  Wireless internet is available for conference attendees in the meeting room.  Please ask a member of the conference staff for the wireless password. Complimentary internet is also available to conference participants in your hotel room.

Parking:  Discounted Valet Parking is available at the conference venue, The Four Seasons Hotel, for conference attendees. The discounted rate is $29 per day.  Please pick up a parking validation sticker at the registration table for each day of the conference.

Metro: The nearest metro station is the Foggy Bottom-GWU station.  Both Blue and Orange lines stop at the Foggy Bottom Metro.  The Hotel is approximately a four block walk from the metro. (Map below)

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B20-L20 Delivers Joint Statement to G20 Labor Ministers

The B20 and L20 presented a joint statement at a G20 labor ministers dinner on May 17 in Bad Neuenahr, Germany which was attended by USCIB Senior Counsel Ronnie Goldberg. Linda Kromjong, IOE’s secretary general and Sharan Burrow, ITUC’s secretary general, jointly presented the statement to the ministers and all B20 and L20 signatories at the handover ceremony  to German Federal Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Andrea Nahles.

This year’s statement builds on the IOE/BIAC and ITUC/TUAC statement from last year with a specific focus on sustainable growth, decent work and social cohesion in the digital economy.

In line with the key priorities of the G20 German presidency, the statement reinforces the important role that business and labor have in shaping policies that not only maximize the opportunities for employment creation, but that also minimize adverse effects on employment and working conditions. Given the special focus on the digital economy, the recommendations in the statement are linked to the impact of technological change on employment and call on governments to grab the chances that technological change presents as well as address its challenges.

To harness the opportunities of technological advancements, it is important that technology is widely diffused so that businesses can maximize the potential of its use. This will facilitate the creation of an agile business environment that can offer growth of income opportunities in all of its forms in the formal economy.

Going forward, the workforce using new technology needs to be well equipped for the new digital age. This requires taking a fresh approach to education, up- and re-skilling and ensuring that all individuals have access to opportunities that allow them to continually upgrade their skills. The B20/L20 joint understanding on key elements of quality apprenticeships, the G20 Skills Strategy as well as the G20 Apprenticeship Initiative clearly have a key role to play in modernizing existing training systems.

2017 OECD International Tax Conference – Hotel Room Block

A limited number of rooms have been blocked at the reduced rate of $405/night at the conference venue, The Four Seasons Hotel, Washington, D.C. Unbooked rooms (if any) will be released for general sale on May 17, 2017, and the group rate will not be available after this date.

Please call the hotel directly and mention the United States Council for International Business (USCIB) room block: 1-202-944-9157. To book online, please visit www.fourseasons.com/washington and use the promo code CI0617OEC.

Rooms reserved without a processed registration will be released for confirmed participants.

Below are a few other nearby options:

1)       The Graham Georgetown – thegrahamgeorgetown.com

2)       The Fairmont Washington, DC, Georgetown – www.fairmont.com/Washington

3)       Park Hyatt – parkwashington.hyatt.com

4)       The Westin, Georgetown, Washington, DC – www.westingeorgetown.com

5)       Melrose Hotel – www.melrosehoteldc.com

6)       The Georgetown Inn – www.georgetowninn.com

 

Conference Website

OECD Organizes Industry Meeting Ahead of June Ministerial

Ahead of June’s OECD Ministerial, Denmark, which holds the OECD presidency this year, organized a joint Business at OECD (BIAC) and the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD (TUAC) consultation in Copenhagen with OECD member governments. USCIB’s President and CEO Peter Robinson gave remarks at the consultation on the importance of improving openness and competitiveness of economies as well as helping more people and companies of all sizes to participate.

“We are living through a period of rapidly changing technologies and economic policies, especially regarding cross-border trade and investment,” said Robinson. “Economic nationalism and isolationist sentiment are posing challenges to the OECD’s fundamental orientation of greater openness and cooperation. The economic context should focus minds – without a comprehensive competitiveness agenda for OECD countries, there will be less wealth creation and less room to increase living standards.”

Robinson recommended a regular publication of the Better Business Index to help governments understand and improve the key drivers of private sector growth. “We think this is vital so as not to lose sight of – or take for granted – the role of the private sector in creating wealth,” he said. Robinson emphasized the importance of developing a new OECD Strategy for SMEs and sensible policies to ensure sustainable growth of the digital economy.

The OECD meetings took place on the eve of the B20 Summit in Berlin.

OECD Secretary General Briefs USCIB Members as World Bank/IMF Meetings Get Underway

L-R: USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson, OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria, BIAC Vice Chair Rick Johnston (Citi), Rob Mulligan (USCIB), Susan Fridy (OECD)
L-R: USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson, OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria, BIAC Vice Chair Rick Johnston (Citi), Rob Mulligan (USCIB), Susan Fridy (OECD)

With the spring meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund bring finance ministers and other top officials from around the world to Washington, D.C., USCIB members on April 21 met with OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria at Citi’s offices in the capital.

The wide-ranging, off-the-record discussion covered priorities for the OECD as well as the G-20, for which the OECD has undertaken a variety of high-level projects since the 2008-2009 financial crisis. In the face of the ongoing populist backlash, Gurria reiterated the OECD’s fundamental support for open markets, as well as for policies to address the downside of global integration and technological change.

Gurria also looked forward to this year’s OECD Ministerial in June. Next week in Copenhagen, USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson and other members of Business at OECD (BIAC) will present their recommendations to OECD governments in advance of the ministerial.

Key topics at this year’s OECD ministerial are expected to include the digital economy, inclusive growth, migration, aging societies and the general backlash against globalization.

Gurria, who prior to becoming secretary general of the OECD served as foreign affairs and finance minister in the Mexican government, and who helped negotiate several market-opening trade deals with the United States and other nations, was honored earlier in the week by the Economic Club of Minnesota for his longstanding support of open trade. Click here to read his remarks at the event.

BIAC Releases Trade as a Priority for All Paper

BIAC_Trade_Priorities_PaperAs populist discontent with international trade continues to percolate around the world, Business at OECD (BIAC) today unveiled a new paper, “Trade as a Priority for All,” with recommendations for OECD action to help build renewed support for cross-border trade.

Last December, Business at OECD convened a workshop of heads of communications from its member federations around the world, to consider ways to push back against the populist narrative. It consulted with its global membership, a network of over 2,800 business experts, and identified critical trade barriers and opportunities. The paper makes recommendations to the OECD and its member governments on the role they can play in curbing barriers and enabling opportunities.

The paper also provides a better understanding of the way companies do business, shedding light on the hurdles they face at the border and in the global marketplace and provides recommendations on improving policymaking and creating better conditions for private sector-led growth, innovation and job creation.

“This paper is crucial in conveying priorities of the business community for OECD analysis and policy recommendations, especially given the rise in anti-trade rhetoric globally,” said Rob Mulligan, USCIB’s senior vice president for policy and government affairs, who is attending consultations with the OECD Trade Committee as well as an OECD conference on trade communications this week in Paris. “USCIB supports the recommendations in this paper, including those of eliminating localization requirements, ensuring open cross-border data flows and improving international regulatory cooperation.”