The Good Place or the Bad Place? The Ted Danson of International Tax: The OECD and its Claim to Fame, BEPS.

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Twentieth century institutions of global economic governance face a profound challenge adapting to the rise of emerging markets and, especially, China's rise. This is especially the case for the international tax regime, whose institutional home is the OECD and which is based on norms that favour capital exporting states. To understand the nature of the challenge posed by China, we focus on the country's engagement with a foundational norm of the international tax regime: the arm's length principle. We show that China's approach to tax cooperation is characterized by a set of apparent contradictions: conciliatory language hides an assault on the arm's length principle; a rhetoric of common cause with developing countries is contradicted by actions that maximize only China's own share of the tax ‘pie’; and a willingness to court the OECD based on the leverage gained from flirtation with outside options. In these respects, China increasingly appears to be using its market power to seek special privileges within international regimes, in ways that mirror the historical actions of the United States.
The global economy’s centre of gravity is shifting. Emerging and developing countries have been contributing over 50% of the global GDP since the onset of the 21st century, which is unprecedented since the Industrial Revolution. This article offers the first analysis of the creeping convergence of the BRIC world (ie Brazil, Russia, India and China) with global legal standards in a key area of International Law: the International Tax Regime (ITR). The ITR is a legal technology fundamentally designed by the League of Nations in the 1920s, when the BRICs played no relevant role. This article proposes a theory that aims to illuminate the core driving forces of the on-going trend towards global convergence in this area of International Law from both the static and dynamic dimensions. It is grounded on the logic of two-sided platforms.