The Ministerial Council of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) wrapped up a two-day meeting this week with a joint statement for the organization’s policy priorities. The OECD was established in 1961 as a forum for democratic, market economies to exchange economic and social policy ideas, collect data, and identify best practices. This most recent ministerial resulted in consensus on a number of topics, including competition and corporate governance, taxation, responsible business conduct, the digital economy, and corruption.
Notably missing from the consensus text, however, was a joint text on international trade, investment, and climate change, which was not agreed to by the United States. The OECD Chairman issued a separate statement outlining full consensus on points such as the establishment of the Global Forum on Steel Excess Capacity, further analysis by the OECD on the benefits of trade, and the importance of reducing trade barriers and costs. There was “near consensus” on the need to strengthen the WTO, to “resist protectionism,” and to recognize the importance of the Paris Climate Agreement, among other issues. The United States issued its own statement, emphasizing the importance of combatting trade barriers, enforcing existing trade agreements, and addressing “trade imbalances.”
In the meantime, a member of President Trump’s Transition Team Executive Committee and founder of SkyBridge Capital, Anthony Scaramucci, is expected to be named the United States’ ambassador to the OECD. Mr. Scaramucci is steeped in the financial services world and had been a major Wall Street fundraiser for President Obama, Mitt Romney, and several Republican candidates during the 2016 primaries.