Statements & Releases
U.S. MISSION TO THE OECD
Office of Public Affairs
For Immediate Release July 21, 2010
Ambassador Karen Kornbluh Helps Launch New Policymaking Guide
To Empower and Protect Consumers
WASHINGTON - U.S. Ambassador to the OECD Karen Kornbluh participated today in the roll-out of a new policymaking guide that seeks to help governments develop effective policies that directly benefit consumers.
"The U.S. is pioneering new ways to empower and protect consumers and we are pleased that the OECD Consumer Policy Toolkit will help all countries adopt best practices," said the Ambassador at a Roundtable Discussion hosted by the Federal Trade Commission. The Federal Trade Commission serves as the lead U.S. agency to the OECD's Committee on Consumer Policy, which produced the Toolkit.
Today's consumers face unique opportunities - and challenges - from a broad range of increasingly complex products, more global trade, and the development of the Internet.
The Consumer Policy Toolkit will help government policymakers around the world who strive to protect and empower consumers in an increasingly complex global marketplace. It provides advice for consumer protection authorities and other regulators to help them determine where markets may be failing consumers, and what steps they can take in response. This guide outlines a comprehensive six-step process for choosing the best consumer protection policies and describes a range of policy options that government officials can use to address consumer problems. Included in the publication are examples drawn from the experiences of more than 20 countries.
Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz provided introductory remarks at the roundtable, which was open to the public. Ambassador Kornbluh discussed the relevance of the guide for U.S. policymakers. OECD Director of Science, Technology, and Industry Andrew Wyckoff discussed the guide in detail.
"The Toolkit will help consumer protection authorities make well-informed policies to protect consumers from unfair practices in the modern marketplace," said Chairman Leibowitz. "It will also be a valuable resource for those setting policy for finance, telecommunications, food, drug, and product safety matters."
Government authorities often are under pressure to act quickly on consumer issues. But deciding what to do has become more difficult because of increasingly complex markets and rapidly evolving business practices - such as those found in electronic commerce. Policy makers must also keep abreast of developments in behavioral and information economics, as well as new approaches to regulation and enforcement. This policymaking guide addresses these challenges.
The OECD Committee on Consumer Policy is already using this policy making guide to help strengthen consumer protections in electronic commerce as well as to analyze environmental marketing claims and consumer issues with emerging mobile and online payment systems.
About the U.S. Mission to the OECD
The United States is a founding member of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development which is an international organization, composed of 31 democratic countries with market-based economies. Shared goals include achieving sustainable economic growth and employment and a rising standard of living in member countries as well as engaging with non-members to contribute to the development of the world economy. Through its ground-breaking public policy research, ‘soft law,' and effective peer reviews, the OECD is a dynamic international incubator for new ideas, providing the United States an unparalleled opportunity for engaging with other countries. Learn more at http://usoecd.usmission.gov/mission/index.html.
Click here to read the Ambassador's remarks.
MEDIA CONTACT: Zoë Mezin, email@example.com, +33(0)188.8.131.52.26.