Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Bretton Woods Committee: The Future of Globalism and Multilateralism

As we have noted here, the election of President Trump has created somewhat of a "wild card" situation in regards to US policies for global institutions such as The World Bank and the IMF. Trump ran a campaign based on "America First" which most assumed meant that he is not a big fan of these kinds of global institutions. However, since taking office, Trump has shown that he can change his views very quickly and that trying to assume we know exactly what those positions will be can be tricky. 

In April, a conference was held to discuss the future prospects for globalism and multilateralism taking the new Trump Administration into account. Some think the future is somewhat dim under Trump while others see it differently thinking that the US will not pull away from these institutions, but will seek to reform them instead. Time will tell. Below are some excerpts from two relevant articles posted on the Bretton Woods Committee web site.


The Future of Globalism and Multilateralism

"On April 19, 2017, over 175 Committee members and friends – including leaders from both public and private sectors as well as academia and civil society – gathered at the International Monetary Fund headquarters in Washington, D.C. for the 2017 Bretton Woods Committee Annual Meeting. This year’s theme, The Future of Globalism and Multilateralism, focused on the future of the Bretton Woods system in a changing geopolitical landscape.
. . . . .

"In the second segment, World Bank Group CEO Kristalina Georgieva was joined by moderator Guillermo Ortiz, Chairman of Latin America, BTG Pactual to discuss her role as the inaugural CEO of the World Bank Group as well as the World Bank’s role in a shifting development landscape. Georgieva expressed concern over global uncertainty and what she called, “the mother of all crises, the crisis of confidence,” and its impact on investment, risk perception, and negative interest rates. Referencing the World Bank and regional MDBs’ initiative, “From Billions to Trillions,” Georgieva spoke about the need to catalyze dormant private sector financial resources to flow into developing markets, citing Vietnamese solar infrastructure projects as an example, and spoke on the need for action to address the famines in Yemen, Nigeria, South Sudan and Somalia. Finally, Georgieva expressed her belief that the Trump administration’s “America First” agenda would be better served by closer engagement with the World Bank Group, and added that she has not heard anyone from the administration say that they want to disengage."


Former top Treasury officials cautiously optimistic that Trump will come round to the MDBs (Multilateral Development Banks)

"Two former United States Department of the Treasury under secretaries for international affairs have called for strong continued U.S. support for multilateral development institutions and especially the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

The comments come amid fears President Donald Trump’s administration is less supportive of such institutions as it seeks to cut overseas aid and development spending, and prioritize an “America First” foreign policy."

1 comment:

  1. Art of the Deal. Trump trying to find the best fit and most influence within these institutions by playing "hard to get"