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At Hearing on International Financial System, Waters Presses Mnuchin on Trump’s Trade War

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Washington, DC, July 12, 2018 | comments

Today, at a hearing with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin entitled “The Annual Testimony of the Secretary of the Treasury on the State of the International Financial System,” Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Financial Services, gave the following opening statement:

As Prepared for Delivery

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I am looking forward to hearing Secretary Mnuchin’s testimony today on the state of the international financial system.

I must admit that I was surprised to learn that the Trump Administration had agreed to back a $13 billion capital increase for the World Bank and the IFC.

This positive step is a notable departure from the Trump Administration’s unprecedented and harmful approach to multilateral engagement.

However, it would be a serious mistake for the World Bank to take my support for this capital increase for granted. I am extremely concerned about the Bank’s recent recommendations in its upcoming World Development Report for the wide-scale dismantling of regulations protecting workers, including lower minimum wages and greater firing powers, particularly in developing countries.

The World Bank should not be rewriting the social compact to recast the balance of power between labor and capital. This will lead to greater inequality and undermine social cohesion, and ultimately will harm the Bank’s legitimacy and relevance in the fight against global poverty.

That said, Mr. Chairman, while I do appreciate the Administration’s support of the World Bank, I am very concerned about the actions this Administration is taking in many other areas that fall into the purview of the Treasury Secretary. As we meet here today, the Trump Administration is waging a trade war that will have wide-ranging economic consequences. Last week, Mid-Continent Nail, America’s largest nail manufacturer, laid off 60 workers and announced that the whole company would go out of business by Labor Day. Volvo no longer plans to hire 4,000 workers in South Carolina. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is warning than 2.6 million jobs are at risk. Hardworking Americans are already suffering as a result of the retaliatory tariffs provoked by the ensuing economic uncertainty caused by this President.

Moreover, this trade war comes at a time when our deficit has ballooned due to the Republican tax law, which has been nothing more than a giveaway to very wealthy individuals, Wall Street banks and big corporations.

I look forward to hearing Secretary Mnuchin address the adverse impact this Administration’s policies are having and will have on small businesses and consumers.

I yield back the balance of my time.


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