On November 3, the Business at OECD (BIAC) Trade Committee met in Paris and received a briefing from Didier Chambovey, chair of the OECD Trade Committee. Chambovey provided an overview of the OECD’s key work streams and responded to questions from members about what the OECD is doing on digital trade, the future priorities for the WTO, and the nexus between trade and environmental policy. Rob Mulligan, USCIB’s senior vice president for policy and government affairs, who also serves as a vice chairs of the BIAC Trade Committee, attended on behalf of USCIB.
The BIAC committee also discussed updating its Trade Priorities paper to address the changing global environment and to include new issues for the OECD to tackle in its work. Members provided input at the meeting and a revised draft is being circulated for input with the goal of finalizing the updated paper early in 2017. The committee also agreed to update its papers on several issues related to Colombia accession to the OECD and agreed on talking points for BIAC intervention at the OECD Trade Committee meeting relating to agricultural trade policy, trade in environmental goods as contributing to sustainable development goals and climate change, and reforming trade in services.
Mulligan and several other BIAC members also participated in the Global Trade Forum hosted by OECD on November 2. Panels of experts addressed the topic of how policy development can keep pace with new business models and the emerging digital economy. Discussions focused on trade and investment linkages in global value chains, trade policy making in the digital economy, and managing disruption. Pat Ivory, vice chair of the BIAC Trade Committee, presented on the digital trade policy issues and highlighted the BIAC paper on cross-border data flows. A key takeaway from the forum was that an integrated suite of policies will be needed to address the declines in trade and productivity as well as the anti-globalization sentiment that has grown over the past few years.