USCIB Senior Director for Trade, Investment and Financial Services Eva Hampl joined global business colleagues from Business at OECD and Irish Business (Ibec) to co-sponsor a reception in Paris on April 25 to officially launch a report “Business at OECD Considerations for Trade and Investment – Priorities for Future OECD Work.” Th event was held in conjunction with the OECD Trade Committee meetings which took place the week of April 22, and built on the report by reinforcing the relationship between Business at OECD and the OECD Trade Committee.
Chair of the OECD Trade Committee Ambassador Didier Chambovey, who serves as head of the Swiss Permanent Mission to the WTO and EFTA, made a few opening remarks at the reception, underlining the importance of the relationship between Business at OECD and the OECD Trade Committee. Pat Ivory, vice chair of the Business at OECD Trade Committee joined Hampl in making a few comments, highlighting issues of importance to Business at OECD and USCIB’s respective economies and business more broadly.
In her remarks, Hampl noted the challenges the global economy is faced with in the midst of so many countries turning inward denouncing globalization and promoting protectionist policies. “In that context, the most effective way to push back is with empirical evidence—on issues like services, global value chains, policies related to national security and the danger of trade restrictive measures such as tariffs or quotas to the global trading system,” said Hampl. “We must look to the future of the global economy; that is why the work that is currently being done on digital trade at the OECD is invaluable to business – all of our companies operate in the digital space and understanding exactly how the digital economy works is key to successfully regulating this space.
While in Paris, Hampl also attended the OECD Trade Committee meetings April 22-26. According to Hampl, while there were many issues on the agenda, the clear focus across the board was on digital trade. “While the OECD does not directly engage in the WTO E-Commerce negotiation, there is a keen awareness the role the analytical work done at the OECD can play in advancing the negotiations at the WTO,” said Hampl. To that end, Business at OECD circulated a paper on what business is looking for in the WTO E-Commerce negotiations and how the OECD can contribute to the effort.
In addition to attending the official sessions of the OECD Trade Committee, where Business at OECD made interventions on the preparations for the Ministerial Council Meeting (MCM) in May 2019, the Interim Economic Outlook, and Digital Trade, Business at OECD also held its own meeting focused on business priorities. That meeting included an extensive exchange on the Committee’s priorities and next steps where much of the conversation centered on digital trade in its various forms, but also addressed broader issues like China and the state of the global economy. A dinner with OECD leadership also provided a great opportunity to informally exchange views on these important issues.