Topic: USOECD Paris Advocating Competitive Neutrality
Hosts: Dr. Jeri Guthrie-Corn, Charge d’Affaires, a.i.; Acting ECON Counselor, Nicholle Manz
Date, time, time zone for call: Tuesday, December 11, 2012; 10:00 a.m. EST (4:00 p.m. CET)
Brief description of call: The U.S. business community has voiced the strong concern that they face stiff competition not just from private-sector actors, but from foreign government departments, sub-national governments, so-called "national champions," state-owned enterprises (SOE's), and other state-supported entities that are active in national and international marketplaces (collectively, SOEs, state-supported enterprises (SSEs), "national champions," and government departments that act commercially all fall under the label "state businesses"). The United States Mission to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (USOECD) is responding to these strong concerns about competitive neutrality with an agenda that aims to level the playing field by ensuring that firms do not receive preferential treatment solely by virtue of government ownership. A variety of government practices can distort the marketplace in favor of state businesses to the detriment of their U.S. private competitors. The following list illustrates some of the practices that may unfairly distort competition:
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