WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A senior U.S. Treasury official on Wednesday criticized the International Monetary Fund for its views on the Trump administration’s tax proposals and said the institution should keep out of the U.S. fiscal policy debate.
The IMF has deleted its earlier forecasts of a growth boost from Trump’s tax cut and reform plans, which have been slow to materialise. Fund officials also have disputed the Trump administration’s views that these plans could boost growth consistently to the 3 percent or higher level that the administration has targeted and have said the plans should not increase U.S. deficits.
The Fund also released a report on Wednesday saying that progressive tax systems are better for fighting inequality and growth, with higher rates on wealthier individuals.
“The IMF, I think, has other things to do in the world than interject itself into the U.S. tax debate,” the Treasury official told reporters, speaking on condition of anonymity.
He said that Trump’s tax programme was a work in progress but would boost growth and median incomes, adding: “The IMF is not really the ones that ought to be rating the odds for this.”
The United States is the IMF’s largest shareholder with a 16.5 percent share of the institution’s board votes, giving it an effective veto over decisions.
The official also defended the Trump administration’s stance on globalisation and international cooperation, saying it was not retreating from such engagement.
The official said the administration is trying to get foreign governments ”to think about being modest in their view of their own role within the way the world economy works.
“One of the things that we want to push against, we need to push against is the tendency of the governments to run the economies, run the people of the world, so that’s a priority.”
Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Jonathan Oatis