U.S. Treasury to push COVID stimulus, China debt participation at IMF meeting - official

By David Lawder
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Treasury Department will urge countries to maintain coronavirus pulses during the annual International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings next week and urge China to fully engage in debt relief for poor countries, a senior said Tax inspector.
In a video interview taped Tuesday and published Friday, Under-Secretary of State for International Affairs Brent McIntosh said a strong recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic depended on continued political support.
"We cannot declare a victory at the moment, we need to keep pushing for responsive action," McIntosh told https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4foW20d8Hs Mark Sobel, US chairman of the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum. a London-based think tank. "I think our first message at the meetings will be that countries don't have to withdraw support prematurely."
McIntosh said in an interview on Tuesday that he hoped US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi could reach an agreement on a new US coronavirus aid package.
Finance officials from the 189 member countries of the IMF and the World Bank will meet virtually next week to review the global response to the prospect of a pandemic and economic recovery. They will also seek to negotiate further steps to strengthen debt relief to stave off default crises in poor and highly indebted countries.
IMF chief executive Kristalina Georgieva said $ 12 trillion in fiscal stimulus and massive monetary easing had made the outlook "less dire" than in June, but the global economy is still facing a difficult climb from a pandemic triggered recession.

DEBT RELIEF FROM CHINA
McIntosh said he would urge Chinese officials to "fully, transparently comply" with a G20 freeze on official bilateral debt servicing for the world's poorest countries introduced earlier this year.
"China is the largest bilateral lender here. So what we need to see from official bilateral lenders is transparency, no nondisclosure agreements, no secured funding."
He said China must adhere to commonly agreed definitions of official bilateral creditors to include all companies that "operate at the behest of the government," including ministries, development finance institutions and export credit agencies.
McIntosh said the Trump administration is still opposed to a general allocation of new IMF Special Drawing Rights - a move that is akin to "printing" hundreds of billions of dollars in reserve assets for all members - as it is not a "targeted or temporary" Measure.
But he said the Treasury Department is encouraging wealthier countries to put unused SDR into an IMF fund to help poorer countries. The Treasury Department is working with the White House Bureau of Administration and Budget to see what U.S. aid package could be offered in this area, he said.

(Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Andrea Ricci and David Gregorio)

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