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Trump to Nominate One of US 'Trade Hawks' to Head World Bank

Trump to Nominate One of US 'Trade Hawks' to Head World Bank

Wednesday, 6 February, 2019 - 08:15
David Malpass, Trump’s potential candidate to Head the World Bank (AP)
Cairo - Ahmed al-Ghemrawi
US President Donald Trump is expected to nominate Treasury Department official David Malpass to head the World Bank, according to senior administration officials.

Malpass, 62, Treasury Department’s undersecretary for international affairs, supports Trump and is one of the trade hawks of the current US administration.

Before joining the administration, Malpass was an economic adviser to Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign, and he has enthusiastically supported the President’s agenda of tax cuts and deregulation to bolster economic growth.

Paradoxically, Malpass is skeptical of multilateralism and of the World Bank itself. He has earlier said that global organizations like the World Bank “have grown larger and more intrusive” and “the challenge of refocusing them has become urgent and more difficult.”

He also said it is too inefficient and too reluctant to wean developing countries that have become engines of growth.

The US administration plans to announce its selection on Wednesday, reported Politico Newspaper, after Trump delivers his State of the Union address.

Washington has historically been allowed to choose the head of the World Bank although that dynamic has more recently faced pushback from other nations. The US is the World Bank’s largest shareholder. Under an informal trans-Atlantic pact, an American has always run the institution while the managing director of its sister institution, the International Monetary Fund, has always been European.

The nomination risks provoking opposition from countries that have defended the existing global order against Trump’s criticisms. It could reignite calls for the bank to break with tradition and appoint a non-American in a recognition of the growing clout of emerging markets such as China and India.

Malpass has pushed the World Bank to lend less to China, arguing the Asian nation has the financial resources to support itself and has criticized Beijing for not moving fast enough to open up its economy, the world’s second largest.

He struggled at Treasury to retain personnel in his unit, with about 20 career staff members quitting in less than a year. Some of the departing officials decided they couldn’t support the administration’s trade policies, while others chafed at Malpass’s leadership style.

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