The US government is continuing to seek congressional passage of long-stalled reforms to the International Monetary Fund, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said Saturday, according to dpa.
Agreed in 2010, the changes to the IMF's founding treaty would both expand the crisis lender's resources and give China and other rising economies more say in the organization's governance.
The measure remains blocked in Congress, where US legislators object to increased commitments to the IMF, as well as to diluting the US voting weight on the IMF board and to expanding China's vote, in particular.
President Barack Obama has sought approval for the reforms this year, and the administration is 'seeking every possible legislative opportunity to implement the reforms as soon as possible,' Lew said in a statement to the twice-yearly meeting of IMF members.
'We continue to believe that Congress will soon pass legislation to implement the 2010 reforms, which are critical to US economic and national security and global economic stability.'
The Group of 20 countries blasted the United States late Friday for blocking the 2010 reforms. The finance ministers and central bank governors of the world's leading advanced and emerging economies said they 'remain deeply disappointed with the continued delay' in implementing the IMF reforms.
'Recognizing the importance of these reforms for the credibility, legitimacy and effectiveness of the IMF, we reaffirm that their earliest implementation remains our highest priority,' the G20 communique said.
The G20, in which the US is a member, proposed an interim solution that 'meaningfully' reallocates IMF shares to give at least some fast-growing emerging and developing countries voting weights that better reflect their importance to the global economy.
The IMF's steering committee echoed the G20 language. 'We continue to urge the United States to ratify the 2010 reforms as soon as possible,' the committee said Saturday in a statement.
Beijing in particular is frustrated at Washington's delays in implementing the reforms and is organizing a development bank for Asia that has drawn interest within Asia and from Europe and Canada.
The Asian bank, due to be established later this year, is seen by some as a potential rival to the US-dominated IMF and World Bank, and the Japanese-dominated Asian Development Bank.
'Even as new institutions emerge, I would like to underscore that the IMF remains the foremost international institution for promoting global economic stability,' Lew said. 'A well-resourced IMF is critical to its ability to act decisively as the lender of first resort during crises.'