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Chairman Menendez’s Opening Remarks at Hearing on Nominations to the International Monetary Fund, International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Inter-American Development Bank

Washington, DC – U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, delivered the below statement, as prepared for delivery, at today’s nomination hearing for posts at the International Monetary Fund, International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and Inter-American Development Bank. The remarks follow:

“Today we have four well-qualified nominees for the Committee’s consideration. These nominees, if confirmed, will represent the United States in the International Monetary Fund, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the Inter-American Development Bank, three essential international institutions tasked with international macroeconomic stability, poverty alleviation, and economic development. 

“Every presidential administration since Harry Truman’s has valued the work of international financial institutions. Most have sought to strengthen them and bolster their capability to reduce poverty and increase economic development.

“President Eisenhower said they assist the world’s poorest in their struggle for “…freedom from grinding poverty.” But -- then as now – they are also instrumental in keeping America prosperous and secure.

“It is in our clear interest to support the global and regional institutions that promote global financial stability, sound fiscal policies, open markets, good governance, and help alleviate poverty  and – in the decades after World War II -- they helped keep the peace.

“That said, recent efforts to undermine U.S. participation in these institutions is not the answer and is a direct threat to U.S. global leadership of an international economic system that we largely built. Do they need reform? Yes. As the world economy evolves, so must these organizations, and the three international financial institutions we will hear about today are all in the process of reform.

“I look forward to hearing our nominees’ thoughts on the progress being made in reforming these organizations, and what each of them intends to do to continue the reform process. 

“Our first panel will focus exclusively on the IMF.

“Six weeks ago this committee approved a Ukraine bill that included important governance and quota reforms that IMF members agreed to in 2010 in recognition of the key role the IMF played in stabilizing Ukraine’s economy, but also because we believed it was time for the U.S. to ratify reforms that would reinforce the IMF as the first responder to international financial emergencies.

“At the end of the day, supporting the IMF has not been a partisan issue. Presidents Reagan, Clinton, and both Presidents Bush backed legislation to increase IMF resources – and President Reagan called the IMF “the linchpin of the international financial system.” In fact, during our debate of the Ukraine bill, I quoted from a letter to House and Senate leadership from members of the Bretton Woods Committee who argued, and I quote, “Implementing the IMF quota reforms…bolsters our leadership in the fund…” and provides the U.S. with “leverage to continue to preserve our national security and economic interests abroad.”

“So, I look forward to hearing from our first panel why they believe the IMF as an institution and the 2010 reforms in particular are critical to continued U.S. global economic leadership.

“We welcome all of our nominees and their family members. I always encourage nominees to introduce family members so we can also acknowledge them for their support and shared sacrifice. 

“Before I introduce our first panel, let me turn to Senator Corker for his comments.”

Panel One

“On our first panel today is Mark Sobel, nominated to be U.S. Executive Director of the IMF, and Sunil Sabharwal to be Alternate U.S. Executive Director to the IMF.

“Mr. Sobel has served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Treasury for International Monetary and Financial Policy, Senior Advisor to the U.S. Executive Director of the IMF and Director of the Office of International Monetary Policy, among other senior positions at Treasury.

“Mr. Sabharwal began his career at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. He has worked in the international payments system in both the United States and Europe, and held senior positions at First Data Corporation/Western Union and GE Capital.

“Thank you both for your willingness to serve.

“Your opening statements will be included in the record in their entirety, but if you could please summarize them in five minutes we can proceed. And, again, if you have family members with you, please feel free to introduce them.”

Panel Two

“On our second panel, we have Matthew McGuire, nominated to be U.S. Executive Director of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and Mileydi Guilarte, nominated to be Alternate U.S. Executive Director to the Inter-American Development Bank. 

“Mr. McGuire is the Assistant to the Secretary and Director of the Office of Business Liaison at the Department of Commerce. He previously worked as a senior executive in the financial services industry and has been active with nonprofit and civic organizations throughout his career.

“Ms. Guilarte has served at USAID, the United Nations, the World Bank, and the IMF, giving her a broad perspective on global economic development and poverty alleviation efforts.

“Welcome to both of you.

“Thank you both for being here. Your opening statements will be included in the record in their entirety, but please summarize them in five minutes.  If you have family members with you, please introduce them prior to making your statement. And let me remind everyone that the record will remain open until close of business on Friday.”