treasury

Questions about Honduras for candidates for U.S. Secretary of the Treasury

Given that U.S. policy at the international financial institutions reports to the Secretary of the Treasury, Just Foreign Policy asked U.S. advocates concerned with U.S. policy in Honduras: what questions would you like to ask candidates for Secretary of the Treasury concerning U.S. policy in Honduras?

 What follows is a lightly edited compilation of the responses we received.

 1. Will you oppose funding of Agua Zarca and other harmful dam projects planned over the objections of local communities?

 2. Will you ensure that international law is upheld and that local indigenous communities are properly consulted regarding any planned development projects before IFI support is approved for such projects?

 3. Given that senior Honduran government officials have been involved in planning so-called "Employment and Economic Development Zones," in which several articles of the Honduran constitution, as well as international laws regarding labor and other human rights would not apply, will you oppose any IFI support for such zones, or for projects in them?

Robert Reich for Treasury Secretary

Many Americans are looking for fundamental change in the relationship between Washington and Wall Street. They want Washington to regulate Wall Street, not the other way around.

Bernie Sanders has said that no one from Goldman Sachs would ever work in his administration. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton has refused to rule out a Treasury Secretary from Wall Street.

Robert Reich, who was a cabinet secretary in the Bill Clinton Administration, has been one of the most prominent advocates of breaking up the too-big-to-fail banks and for taxing Wall Street speculation.

Urge Senators to support the nomination of Robert Reich as Treasury Secretary in the next Administration by signing our petition:

http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/robert-reich-for-treasury-secretary

Can Treasury Sneak IMF Money Through the Supplemental?

Almost completely lost in the drama over the war supplemental for Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan is a sneaky play by the U.S. Treasury Department to get $108 billion in U.S. tax dollars for the International Monetary Fund through the supplemental. Of course, if Treasury can get the money through the supplemental, it can avoid any Congressional debate over the policies of the International Monetary Fund and whether this is a wise and just use of U.S. tax dollars; and whether Congress should insist on meaningful, observable reforms of IMF policy as the price of new U.S. funding.

After 1980 the IMF became one of the most powerful institutions in the world. The IMF’s power largely derived from the fact that it headed a “creditors’ cartel” that included the World Bank and other multilateral development banks, and as a result developing countries that didn’t obey the IMF’s policy “advice” could face a cut-off of international credit, a powerful disincentive. This power was used to impose an agenda of privatization, cuts in social spending, and removal of policies deemed obstacles to profit by foreign banks and corporations. The power of the IMF in middle-income countries has waned in recent years, as Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina and other countries broke free, repudiating a legacy of policies that failed to promote economic growth and reduce poverty. But in the poorest countries, especially in Africa, the IMF’s abusive reign has largely continued. Now, rich countries are trying to strengthen the influence of the IMF, using the “opportunity” of the global economic crisis - that’s the context of Treasury’s request for more U.S tax dollars.