After 50 years of successfully avoiding a costly credit war, OECD governments find themselves back at a “race to the bottom” crossroad. Will OECD governments succeed in maintaining a level playing field? Or will the allure of promoting national interests in this new world order with new global political priorities, increasing competition and a complex globalized world lead governments to restart a race to the bottom and ultimately towards a new credit war? To avoid the path towards a credit war not seen since the 1970s, a renewed commitment is required. Securing a level playing field for OECD exporters and business should have high‐level political priority. The OECD Arrangement for export credits is in need of modernization, but governments must also recognize that securing a level playing field in terms of government financing goes beyond export credits and export finance. Official government involvement in international finance can be trade distortive regardless of the primary purpose of financing. A whole‐of‐government approach to the provision of official international financing, regardless of whether the primary purpose of financing is exports, development or climate, is necessary if OECD governments wish to avoid starting down a costly and destructive path.
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