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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development

James K. Jackson
Specialist in International Trade and Finance

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2011, a time when the global economy was struggling to recover from the financial crisis and slow economic growth. The OECD is an intergovernmental economic organization in which the 34 member countries discuss and develop key policy recommendations that often serve as the basis for international standards and practices. In addition, the OECD members analyze economic and social policy and share expertise and exchanges with more than 70 developing and emerging economies. The 34 member countries include Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the United States. While all of the member countries are considered to be economically advanced and collectively produce 60% of the world’s goods and services, membership is limited only by a country’s commitment to a market economy and a pluralistic democracy. The OECD also has extended an invitation to the Russian Federation for membership, which includes meeting rigorous best practices relative to anti-bribery and anti-corruption standards. Furthermore, the OECD works with other potential partners such as Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, and South Africa with a view toward possible membership.

The member countries rely on the OECD Secretariat in Paris to collect data; monitor trends; analyze and forecast economic developments; and research social changes and patterns in trade, environment, agriculture, society, innovation, corporate and public governance, taxation, sustainable development, and other areas to inform their discussions and to assist them in pursuing their efforts to develop common policies and practices. Following the financial crisis, the OECD played a major role in providing cross-country analyses of market reforms and programs to stimulate growth. The United States has sparred periodically with other OECD member countries over various issues, including U.S. antidumping laws and the size of the U.S. financial contribution. Karen Kornbluh was appointed in 2009 by President Obama to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to the OECD. She stepped down as Ambassador and Daniel W. Yohannes was nominated to serve as the next U.S. Ambassador to the OECD. Key issues for Congress include OECD work on coordinating national approaches to curtailing bribery and the illicit use of tax havens. Congress appropriated about $82.2 million to the OECD in FY2013; the budget request for FY2014 was $83.2 million.

Date of Report: September 24, 2013
Number of Pages: 16
Order Number: RS21128
Price: $29.95

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