Office of the Spokesperson
“This is a special institution, a special organization heading to its 60th anniversary… A very powerful forum for coming together, working together on real solutions to the problems that our citizens face, as well as the opportunities.”
– Secretary Antony J. Blinken, June 25, 2021
Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken travels to Paris October 4-6 to chair the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) annual Ministerial Council Meeting (MCM), in the second of two sessions of the annual meeting. The U.S. delegation will include the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, the U.S. Trade Representative, the Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, and the Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment. The Ministerial theme is “Shared Values: Building a Green and Inclusive Future;” accordingly, advancing efforts to combat the climate crisis, to promote sustainable development, including quality infrastructure development, and to build an inclusive and equitable future will be among U.S. priorities at the MCM.
The OECD: Better Policies for Better Lives
The OECD was founded 60 years ago in 1961. It was a successor to the Organization for European Economic Co-operation, which was created under the U.S. Marshall Plan to help European countries rebuild after the destruction of World War II.
The OECD provides a forum in which the governments of the European Union and 38 advanced democracies with market‐based economies work together to address common problems and identify best practices. The organization has around 300 bodies that meet regularly, including standing committees, working parties, and ad hoc groups.
Together with governments, policy makers and citizens, the OECD works on establishing evidence-based international standards to find solutions to a range of social, economic, and environmental challenges, from improving economic performance and creating jobs to fostering strong education and fighting international tax evasion.
Advancing the U.S. Economic Policy Agenda
By encouraging other countries to adopt OECD recommendations aligned with U.S. policies, the United States can leverage the OECD to provide a better environment for U.S. companies to compete globally. For example:
The OECD’s Anti-Bribery Convention helps ensure international competitors to U.S. businesses adhere to the same strong anti-bribery standards abroad as U.S. companies, leveling the playing field for our businesses.
The OECD’s Inclusive Framework on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting provides the primary global forum for negotiating agreements on tax policies in line with U.S. priorities. This includes achieving consensus-based solutions on digitalization to prevent discriminatory unilateral taxes targeting U.S. digital firms.
The OECD’s data privacy guidelines and Global Privacy Enforcement Network support secure cross-border data flows, interoperability, and privacy enforcement cooperation.
The United States also constructively engages and integrates a climate change focus into many of the OECD’s workstreams, such as its work on innovation, mobilization of private finance, industrial decarbonization, and addressing carbon leakage.
U.S. Leadership at the MCM
To honor the Organization’s 60th anniversary and focus our attention on the crucial work at hand, the United States is chairing this year’s MCM, with the Republic of Korea and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg serving as Vice-Chairs, under the theme: “Shared Values: Building a Green and Inclusive Future.”
Part One of the MCM brought OECD members together virtually on May 31 and June 1 to mark the handover in leadership of the OECD from former Secretary-General Angel Gurria of Mexico to new Secretary-General Mathias Cormann of Australia, and share priorities for the near-term recovery from COVID-19. Part Two will shift the attention to addressing medium- and long-term challenges and will include a focus on gender equality.
As Chair of the MCM, the United States is focusing the agenda on building back our economies and societies after the COVID-crisis in a better, more inclusive way. This means addressing the climate crisis, promoting the global transition to net-zero emissions, working together to ensure the gains of trade are shared by all, managing the disruptive impact of critical and emerging technologies, promoting data free flow with trust, and finding inclusive and equitable economic strategies that honor our shared democratic values.
At the end of the session, members will adopt a new Vision Statement to guide the Organization for the upcoming decade.