Broad-Based Coalition of Policy Experts Urges Congress to Pass IMF Reforms
March 11th, 2014
Ukraine Economy and US Leadership at Stake
190 policy experts, business and academic leaders, and former Senate-confirmed appointees who had oversight responsibilities for organizations like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank yesterday delivered a unified message to Congress: promptly enact IMF quota reform legislation. Fr. Seamus Finn, OMI signed the letter on behalf of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. The Oblates have long supported New Rules for Global Finance, which works for fundamental reforms at the IMF.
The broad-based bipartisan letter to Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Reid comes at a time when Congress is considering a $1 billion bilateral emergency assistance package for Ukraine to help the country stabilize its economy during its crisis with Russia. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Ranking Member Bob Corker (R-TN) displayed the foresight and joint leadership to respond strongly to the Ukraine crisis by introducing the Ukraine relief bill, which includes the IMF quota reform legislation. Ukraine is also seeking IMF assistance directly.
Treasury Under Secretaries Tim Adams, David McCormick, David Mulford, and Jeffrey Shafer, and five IMF Executive Directors that served under Republican Administrations, among other former senior government officials, support the IMF reform legislation. “The IMF has played a crucial role in the global approach to recent financial crises and in navigating the world economy through severe threats. While the United States is on a path to recovery, threats remain…and the IMF has been called upon to support reform in Ukraine. In times like these, a financially strengthened and reformed IMF is in the U.S. interest,” notes the letter.
The letter points out that “the IMF is the leading international institution dedicated to promoting U.S. objectives of advancing global growth, financial stability, and sound economic policy.” It implies that the integrity of the IMF as a global governance forum, as well as the credibility of the United States on the world stage, would diminish without strong U.S. leadership in the IMF.
“Additional quota resources for the IMF are essential to preserve its central role in a global financial system that benefits the United States. Realignment of IMF quota shares, while preserving U.S. influence in the IMF, will enable the IMF to respond to shifts in the global economy, involving emerging powers more deeply in the institution and avoiding their disengagement,” notes the letter.
All other major countries, including those in the G-20, have ratified the 2010 reforms negotiated with substantial US leadership. However, U.S. delays have prevented the quota and governance reforms from going into effect, thereby undermining U.S. credibility and influence in the IMF and the G-20. The signatories of this letter urge Congress to seize this opportunity to strengthen U.S. leadership, both vis-à-vis Ukraine and the global economy.
The letter was jointly distributed by New Rules for Global Finance and The Bretton Woods Committee. The full text of the letter can be found here.