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Monday, March 1, 2010

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development

James K. Jackson
Specialist in International Trade and Finance

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is an intergovernmental economic organization in which the 30 member countries discuss, develop and analyze economic and social policy and shares expertise and exchanges with more than 70 developing and emerging economies. The member countries include Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, 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 three-fourths of the world's goods and services, membership is limited only by a country's commitment to a market economy and a pluralistic democracy. In January 2010, Chile signed protocols to complete its entry into the OECD as the 31st member. The OECD has also extended invitations to Estonia, Israel, Russia, and Slovenia to open discussions for membership and it has offered enhanced engagement with a view to possible membership to Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, and South Africa. 

The member countries rely on the OECD Secretariat in Paris to collect data, monitor trends, analyze and forecast economic developments, 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. The U.S. has sparred periodically with other OECD member countries over various issues, including U.S. antidumping laws. Karen Kornbluh was appointed by President Obama to serve as the 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 $117 million to the OECD in FY2008.

Date of Report: February 8, 2010
Number of Pages: 11
Order Number: RS21128
Price: $29.95

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