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The Department of Treasury supports global development progress as well as US national security and economic interests overseas by promoting strong financial sector stability and governance in developing countries. Through Treasury, the US also exercises leadership in international financial institutions such as the World Bank. CGD’s analysis of Treasury’s work aims to offer evidence-based proposals for reform and improvement.
When US Treasury Under Secretary David Malpass appeared before Congress just five months ago, he indicated that the World Bank “currently has the resources it needs to fulfill its mission” and went on to characterize the bank and other multilateral institutions as inefficient, “often corrupt in their lending practices,” and ultimately only benefitting their own employees who “fly in on first-class airplane tickets to give advice to government officials.”
From that standpoint, it would be hard to imagine US support for a significant injection of new capital into the World Bank’s main lending arm, the IBRD, as well as the bank’s private sector lender, the IFC.
And yet, that’s exactly the surprising outcome just announced at the World Bank’s spring meeting of governors. Not only is the Trump administration supporting a $7.5 billion capital increase for the IBRD (and at that, one that is 50 percent larger than the capital increase supported by the Obama administration in 2010), it has also signed on to a policy framework for the new money that makes a good deal of sense.
Here are the highlights:
The capital increase package will better enable the institution to deliver on its commitment to be a leader on climate finance and more broadly in support of global public goods, aligning with key recommendations from CGD’s 2016 High Level Panel on the Future of Multilateral Development Banking. Under the agreement, the climate-related share of the IBRD’s portfolio will rise from the current 21 percent to 30 percent. The IFC’s share will rise even higher to 35 percent. New ambition on the climate agenda also includes commitments to screen all bank projects for climate risks and incorporate a carbon shadow price into the economic analysis of projects in emissions-producing sectors. For global public goods more generally, the agreement newly commits a (very modest) share of IBRD annual income to global public goods.
The package introduces the principle of price differentiation based on country income status, with higher income countries paying more than the bank’s other borrowers. This proposal, which was also put forward by CGD’s High Level Panel in 2016, will generate additional revenues for the bank and asks more of countries that have less financing need. While the introduction of the principle marks an important step forward, the actual price differentiation is extremely modest—at most, the spread between high income borrowers will be just 45 basis points on IBRD lending rates of about 4 percent.
The package assigns new guidelines for the IBRD’s overall lending portfolio to channel 70 percent of the bank’s resources to countries with per capita incomes below $6,895 and 30 percent to countries above this so-called “graduation threshold.” These targets would not be binding when it comes to crisis lending. In practice, these new guidelines seem to align with the existing pattern of IBRD lending, as indicated in the figure. In this sense, the idea that these guidelines amount to cutting China's access to World Bank loans appears exaggerated, though over time, as more countries join the higher income category, the 30 percent share will be allocated across more borrowers.
The package also attempts to identify a new financial framework that requires greater discipline when it comes to tradeoffs between lending volumes, loan pricing, and the bank’s administrative budget. This framework, which reportedly was a priority for the US government, may not ensure that this will be the last ever capital increase for the World Bank (as an unnamed US official promises), but it does appear to introduce a greater level of coherence around financial/budgetary decisions that have historically proceeded in a disjointed fashion within the institution.
Finally, even as the agreement seeks greater differentiation among countries, it reaffirms the World Bank’s commitments to stay engaged with all its client countries, including China. In fact, given US rhetoric, it’s surprising that the agreement does not stake out any new ground on the subject of country graduation. In fact, it seems to go out of its way to reassure all current bank borrowers that they are still welcome and that the decision to graduate from assistance is theirs to make. In the end, as much as ending China’s borrowing from the bank would have been a political prize for the Trump administration, US officials appear to have taken a sensible policy path that favors good incentives over polarizing fiats.
In 1944, the United States created a blueprint for economic statecraft, hashed out with other leading countries at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, that relied heavily on a new class of multilateral institutions to pursue US interests in the world—the multilateral development banks (MDBs), represented initially by the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and an envisioned World Trade Organization.
The relative fortunes of these institutions and their agendas have varied over time, but the blueprint itself is now under serious duress in the “America First” strategy of international engagement of the Trump administration. Most visibly, the firm rejection of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and ongoing efforts to revisit the North America Free Trade Agreement have put trade multilateralism directly in the crosshairs of this administration.
Less visible has been a decline in interest in and support for the other elements of the Bretton Woods blueprint. To see it in its starkest form, you have to dig deep into US government budget documents. The US financing relationship with the Bretton Woods institutions is contained in the budget and activities of the International Affairs division of the US Treasury. It was the Treasury that played the leading role in negotiating the details at Bretton Woods (with the likes of John Maynard Keynes, who represented the UK’s interests), and the agency continues to lead engagement with the IMF, the World Bank, and four other MDBs that emerged after Bretton Woods. As a result, Treasury’s “International Affairs” budget provides a useful measure of the scale and breadth of US engagement with these multilateral institutions.
As the figure indicates, this administration has taken an unprecedented turn away from the Bretton Woods institutions, at least in the years since consistent budget data has been available. Adjusted for inflation, the first two budgets of the Trump administration are the lowest, by far, of any of the past 30 years. Similarly, the Treasury Department under the Trump administration is supporting fewer multilateral institutions and programs than any previous administration of the past 30 years.
Among the programs abandoned during the past year: innovative and highly-rated agricultural development programs in the form of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Global Agriculture and Food Security Program, as well as support for the climate finance agenda. Though the latter might not be a surprise for this administration, it nonetheless marks a striking diminishment of US engagement and influence over a leading pillar of multilateral cooperation today. Increasingly, rejecting multilateral cooperation on the climate agenda is tantamount to rejecting multilateral cooperation in general.
The precipitous fall in the US Treasury's multilateral engagement is all the more remarkable in contrast to the experience of the Obama administration, when multilateral financing, in scale and breadth, reached its highest levels of the past 30 years.
Skeptics of global cooperation no doubt see the current trajectory as a welcome course correction from the Obama years. But they would do well to appreciate the costs of going it alone. This can be measured by the financing leverage that we are giving up when we cut multilateral funding, such as with IFAD, where every dollar contributed by the United States delivers nearly 80 dollars of assistance to developing countries. Harder to quantify are the potentially wide-ranging effects of not having the United States at the table to help shape multilateral strategies, standards, and priorities on issues that implicate a wide range of US economic, security, and foreign policy interests.
The irony of all of this is that an approach to multilateral cooperation that the United States itself designed nearly 75 years ago is enjoying remarkable popularity in the rest of the world today, and particularly among rising economic powers. China has garnered attention for adopting this multilateral playbook in the creation of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and even in its overtures to other countries through the Belt and Road Initiative, which proposes to pursue infrastructure development across Eurasia on a massive scale by attracting and leveraging financing from a wide array of sources inside and outside of China. It is to our detriment in the United States that that kind of vision, once on display at Bretton Woods, is now missing in Washington.
Earlier this month the US Treasury’s top international official announced at a congressional hearing that he would like to see the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) “wound down.” Not only would the United States no longer make contributions to the fund, but Treasury Undersecretary David Malpass indicated that he wants other GAFSP donors to end their contributions as well, arguing that the fund is duplicative and donors could channel their support through other institutions and funding sources.
This view, at first glance, is not crazy given the proliferation of development trust funds in recent decades, many of which operate with little scrutiny or evidence of impact. But scratching beneath GAFSP’s surface, there are good reasons to be concerned about the potential loss of this particular trust fund. And for those very reasons, it seems unlikely that the other GAFSP donors will be so quick to follow the US lead.
Before examining GAFSP’s merits, it’s worth understanding the history of this relatively young fund. Ten years ago, food prices in developing countries soared to unprecedented levels, resulting in riots that threatened governments as well as social stability around the world. Massive public protests erupted in countries ranging from Haiti to Egypt to Senegal. World Bank President Robert Zoellick predicted at the time that surging food costs could mean "seven lost years" in the fight against worldwide poverty.
Admirably, the international community stepped up to address the challenge. In April 2008, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund announced a series of measures aimed at mitigating the crisis, including increased loans to African farmers and emergency monetary aid to badly affected areas. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon established a High-Level Task Force on the Global Food Security Crisis that developed a Comprehensive Framework for Action to enhance global food security efforts.
And at the 2009 G8 Summit in L’Aquila, Italy, leaders endorsed a Global Food Security Initiative to help fill agricultural financing gaps in the poorest countries in the world. GAFSP was a core element of this initiative. The United States government was the leading architect of the GAFSP trust fund, and in full disclosure, I played a role in creating the fund as a US Treasury official at the time.
So, even if GAFSP’s historical context is compelling, why does it continue to hold merit today? I see at least three reasons.
1. There continues to be large unmet need for financing agriculture investments in poor countries.
According to the 2017 State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World report, for the first time since 2003 the number of chronically undernourished people in the world has increased, up to 815 million from 777 million in 2015. Moreover, the global population is projected to grow from some 7.3 billion to almost 9.8 billion by 2050, with most of that increase coming in the developing regions. In low-income countries, the population may double to 1.4 billion. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, feeding humanity will require a 50 percent increase in the production of food and other agricultural products between 2012 and mid-century.
Donor financing does not appear to have kept pace with the need. OECD statistics show that the share of bilateral official development assistance devoted to agriculture production was the same in 2015 (4.3 percent) as it was in 2008. The World Bank, the largest single source of development finance, approved over US$5 billion in agriculture and rural development financing last fiscal year, but this is the lowest level since 2011 and well below the peak of US$8.3 billion in 2009. The GAFSP remains the only multilateral vehicle that targets funding for agriculture and rural development in the poorest countries.
Rather than provide money to any country that demonstrates a need, a steering committee agrees to funds proposals that are chosen for rigorous measures of quality through a competitive process; in the most recent round for selecting public sector projects, just seven of the over twenty proposals were funded. To enhance the selection process, a panel of (unpaid) independent technical experts recommends which proposals should be funded. And, unlike traditional multilateral mechanisms, the GAFSP steering committee is composed of representatives of donors, recipient countries, implementing agencies, and civil society. Monitoring and evaluation of projects is at the forefront of project design and funding decisions, and randomized control trials (RCTs) are incorporated into many project designs.
3. GAFSP is delivering results.
Initial findings from the RCTs of early GAFPS projects are starting to come in and they are very encouraging. For example, in the Integrated Agricultural Productivity Project in Bangladesh, an RCT found that during 2014–2016 income levels of project households cultivating crops and fisheries increased by 15 percent and 37 percent, respectively, compared to non-project household. Similarly, in Rwanda, an RCT reported an 11 percent gain in the value of harvest and a 28 percent gain in the value of sales, respectively, during one season (September to February), and in target irrigated areas, productivity increased by 423 percent. In Cambodia, a government-led, nonexperimental impact evaluation found an 85 percent income gain.
By focusing on agriculture investments, the GAFSP also plays a major role in increasing median incomes in low-income countries by pulling people out of poverty. Investments in agriculture are estimated to be two to four times more effective in reducing poverty than growth generated from other sectors. Not only does improving agricultural productivity make more food available in rural communities, where 70 percent of the world’s poor live, it also provides a sustainable source of income for people with limited opportunity.
So what’s next for GAFSP? The Trump administration has already made clear that it will no longer be contributing to the multi-donor trust fund created by its predecessor. Unfortunately, the administration isn’t satisfied to leave it at that and is now calling on other GAFSP donors to end their contributions to the fund. If GAFSP were an abject failure, such a stance might be met favorably by the other donors, marking the last gasp for GAFSP. But the fund counts among its top donors actors who place a high value on evidence-driven investments, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Canadian, Dutch, German, and British governments. I doubt very much that these donors will be so quick to walk away from such an unambiguous success.
And with time, perhaps the current administration will reconsider its misguided stance on this innovative fund. One prod in this direction just might be a multilateral aid review, which appears to be gaining momentum in the Senate and would introduce an evidence-driven process for evaluating the relative value of the various contributions the United States makes to multilateral institutions.
Note (December 4, 2017): The data in this blog present the first release of DRM-coded data in the OECD’s Creditor Reporting Service. Please keep in mind the following caveats. The Addis Tax Initiative—and by extension the OECD data—focus on domestic revenue mobilization; the data don’t capture everything within the broader category of domestic resource mobilization (e.g., strengthening and borrowing from domestic capital markets). Furthermore, because this is a relatively new data classification, the comprehensiveness and accuracy of the data are evolving. There are some known gaps in the data presented below. Bottom line, however, we’re pleased a framework now exists to track US (and other donor) investments in DRM; we hope those reporting data will contribute to quality improvements going forward.
Domestic revenue mobilization (DRM) seems set to be a priority area for the US Agency for International Development (USAID) under Administrator Mark Green. In line with emerging international and domestic consensus on the importance of DRM, Administrator Green hasrepeatedly highlighted the importance of helping countries mobilize their own domestic resources. Furthermore, DRM, which aims to help partner countries better self-finance their own development priorities, is a promising tool for helping select middle-income countries transition away from USAID’s grant-based assistance, another statedpriority for Administrator Green (stay tuned for forthcoming research on transition from Sarah Rose and Erin Collinson).
DRM, which supports strengthened tax policy and administration, is not a new objective for US foreign assistance. For many years, USAID, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), and the Treasury Department’s Office of Technical Assistance (OTA) have been working with countries to improve tax collection, customs capacity, public financial management, and the like.
The challenge has been in tracking US (and other donors’) support for DRM activities. Historically, there has been very little data on the amount of assistance going to DRM, but this is starting to change. The 2015 Addis Tax Initiative (ATI) provided the first framework to track donors’ support for DRM activities in a systematic manner through the OECD’s Creditor Reporting Service. ATI used this data in its first Monitoring Report, released in July. While the data only covers projects in 2015 so far, it contributes to a better understanding of what US aid agencies are doing in the DRM space and where they are working. If the United States is looking to step up assistance in this area, it will be instructive to understand the landscape of current efforts.
The United States is the second-largest donor to DRM
The United States is the second-largest donor to DRM, behind the United Kingdom. Other major donors include Germany, the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), and Norway.
USAID leads US DRM efforts
In 2015, the United States delivered $37 million in DRM-focused assistance in 32 countries. USAID contributed the most, disbursing nearly $25 million, followed by MCC ($8.2 million), Treasury ($3.7 million), and the US Trade and Development Agency (a single $8,000 feasibility study in Pakistan).
The type of engagement varies by agency. MCC funded comparatively larger projects, with an average project size of $2.1 million across four projects. On the other end of the spectrum, the average size of the 40 Treasury projects was around $9,000. USAID’s 37 projects had an average cost of $671,000.
The majority of US assistance to DRM (66 percent) is delivered as project-type interventions—for example, training officials, modernizing IT and other equipment, supporting public awareness campaigns and taxpayer outreach, and modernizing tax collection infrastructure. Another 27 percent of DRM funds support US advisors to deliver in-country technical assistance (mostly through Treasury). Additionally, USAID contributed a small fraction (under $1 million) of assistance to multilateral institutions.
The Philippines and Afghanistan are top recipients of US DRM assistance
The United States provided DRM assistance to 32 countries in 2015. Of the total US spending on DRM that year, 40 percent went to low-income countries, 44 percent to lower-middle-income countries, and 6 percent to upper-middle-income countries—which broadly tracks the distribution of the US government’s overall development aid allocation by income category.
Consistent with the models of each agency, the MCC is the most focused of the agencies. In 2015, MCC’s DRM projects were limited to only two countries, with one, the Philippines, dominating. By contrast, the work led by USAID and OTA was dispersed more widely. USAID worked in 14 countries, spending an average of $1.8 million per country. Treasury worked in 19 countries, spending an average of only $197,000 per country.
Recipients of US aid to DRM, 2015
Considerations for expanding US contributions to DRM
As the United States seeks to refine and possibly ramp up its approach to DRM, this analysis points to several considerations that US foreign assistance agencies should think through:
What is the role of US aid agencies vis-à-vis other donors? The United States is a significant donor to DRM efforts—but it’s not the largest. Given the substantial efforts of many other bilateral and multilateral donors—including the IMF’s Tax Policy and Administration Topical Trust Fund and the OECD’s Tax Inspectors Without Borders—the United States should a) identify how best to support multilateral efforts, and b) establish its comparative advantage in this area vis-à-vis other actors in the space.
How can US agencies better coordinate DRM efforts to maximize effect? Each of the three agencies contributing to DRM efforts has its own approach. MCC funds substantial partner country-identified interventions in a small number of countries. OTA sends financial advisors to work in partner country governments on revenue policy and administration and/or budget and financial accountability. USAID covers a wide array of goals and instruments, generally focused on strengthening revenue administration, assisting on tax reform, and encouraging a culture of tax compliance, and often covers a wide range of smaller interventions. The agencies do coordinate with one another; both MCC and USAID fund OTA’s work, for example. Continued focus on coordination will remain necessary to maximize effectiveness.
Where should the United States focus increased assistance? US agencies operate DRM projects in a range of countries, from upper-middle-income countries like Tunisia to fragile, low-income countries like South Sudan. For countries at the higher-income end of the spectrum, DRM could be particularly useful as part of a strategy to transition partners away from traditional, grant-based foreign assistance by building their capacity to self-finance their development objectives. For small, fragile states, DRM assistance can lay the groundwork for other reforms, like state-building. In all cases, DRM efforts must be undertaken with due attention to the risks of overburdening poor people. A study in the Democratic Republic of the Congo found that the real tax rate on low-income Congolese is 40 percent of their wealth. And CGD non-resident fellow Nora Lustig found that the extreme poverty headcount ratio may actually be higher after taxes and transfers in some countries than before.
I don’t claim to know about financing movies, but I have some sympathy for the bemusement Treasury Secretary Mnuchin has displayed over the state of US financing for the multilateral development banks (MDBs). At a recent budget hearing, committee chairman Hal Rogers drew Mnuchin’s attention to the fact that the “past due” notices from the World Bank and regional MDBs are now approaching a record $2 billion. Mnuchin acknowledged a problem, expressed some degree of mystification about federal budget accounting, and pledged to get things in order.
So what’s all of this about?
It’s true that the US government has gotten way behind in meeting its commitments to these institutions, and worse, is the only country in the world that routinely fails to make good on its MDB pledges.
Source: US Treasury
This problem does not exist when it comes to US capital contributions to the MDBs – that is, financial contributions that are tied directly to the purchase of equity shares with direct implications for voting power. When the United States pledges capital to the MDBs, it pays on time and in full with very few exceptions, out of fear of losing voting power. In contrast, the “arrears” problem afflicts the annual US grant contributions to the MDBs’ subsidized lending arms, largest of which is the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA).
So how did we get into such a fix? It’s because, unlike most other countries, the United States does not make pledges from a known pot of money. US Treasury officials make a pledge and then go to Congress the next year with hat in hand, asking that the pledged funds be appropriated. In most other countries, pledges are drawn from a pool of funds already appropriated by their parliaments. Given the very different sequencing, it’s not surprising that the track record for other countries in meeting their pledges is something like 99.9 percent, while for the United States a good outcome is something like 80-90 percent.
The MDBs themselves are complicit in the problem. The US pledge, typically one of the largest, has an inflationary effect on other donors, who tie their pledges automatically to the overall fundraising effort. For example, Belgium might pledge to meet one percent of the overall replenishment. So, the more the US pledges, the more Belgium automatically pays, no matter whether the United States ever fully delivers on its pledge. As a result, the MDBs themselves are aiming for the highest US pledge possible. You might think the other donor countries would be less enthused, but for the most part, they’ve been largely indifferent in recent years. This is likely because their politicians and parliamentarians are not entirely aware of the problem.
Mnuchin’s responses to Rogers were interesting. He was careful not to commit to make good on the past pledges. He simply pledged to fix the accounting. Given the cuts contained in the FY2018 budget, it may finally be time for the United States and the MDBs to end the dysfunctional relationship and simply acknowledge that much of these arrears will never be paid. That may be easier said than done, since any explicit agreement could very well provoke the negative reaction from other donors that has been seemingly dormant.
Whether he can produce a viable plan or not, Secretary Mnuchin’s instincts are right that there is some gimmickry in play here that is problematic. When the dollar amounts are small relative to the pledges themselves, it may not matter much. But with arrears that now equal the entire annual US contributions to the MDBs, it is too big of an issue to politely ignore.
For the US Development Policy Initiative’s inaugural Voices of Experienceevent, three former Treasury Under Secretaries for International Affairs took the stage: Tim Adams of the Institute of International Finance, Lael Brainard of the Federal Reserve, and Nathan Sheets of Peterson Institute for International Economics. The conversation, moderated by CGD Board Member Tony Fratto, revealed the “esprit de corps” of the International Affairs team, and covered everything from the central yet oft under-the-radar role the Office of International Affairs plays in the formulation and execution of international economic policy, to each Under Secretaries’ proudest moments. Interestingly, the event highlighted significant policy continuity across administrations and a nonpartisan approach to key decisions. See for yourself here, and take a peek at a few takeaways:
Global economic success equals success at home
Brainard kicked off the discussion noting that the primary but less understood role of Treasury is to negotiate the interface of US domestic and global economic policy. Panelists emphasized that continued engagement with the global economy serves domestic interests, but in the current political climate, the message must be communicated consistently and clearly. Brainard, who served during the recent US financial crisis, reflected on both sides of the isle coming forward in the wake of the crisis to support the recapitalization of every multilateral development bank. This remarkable feat represented a bipartisan recognition that economic recovery in the US happens only in concert with the rest of the world. Adams added that this engagement can be a difficult sell to the public particularly in times of domestic hardship, but that the case can rests strongly on three pieces: values, economics, and national security.
Strong, continued support of IFIs, but not without US leadership
The Office of International Affairs manages the United States’ engagement with international financial institutions and other financial international fora, such as the G-20 finance ministers and central bank governors process. All three urged that the US must continue to play a leadership role. Reflecting on his own experience, Sheets’ team time and time again turned to the IFIs to tackle some of the most challenging issues facing the international economic system. This meant taking advantage of the all-important leverage attached to every US dollar funneled through multilateral channels, and he asked: If the new administration is not willing to engage multilaterally with global challenges that affect the US, is the American taxpayer willing to foot the bill in its entirety?
Adams explained that not only should the US continue to have strong support for IFIs, but the US must lead in these institutions if they are to effectively confront global challenges and challenges at home. Reflecting on his (somewhat controversial) speech on shaking up the IMF, he noted that it is in US interests to push for more transparency and more accountability in these institutions. IFI’s are already international standard setting bodies, yet must constantly evolve in order to stay relevant for both domestic and global interests.
Policy continuity and collaboration across administrations is at the core of the office
The conversation revealed a remarkable level of mutual respect and policy agreement. This was no more striking than when each Under Secretary highlighted proudest moments on the job. Adams spoke of commencing the glide path from the G-7 to the G-20, and pushing the IMF to pursue its surveillance mandate more vigorously, including exchange rate policies, for which Brainard and Sheets kept the ball rolling. Sheets also spoke to the IMF’s now sound outlook for the next five years, and his office’s work to continue integrating China into the global financial system, which the panelists all agreed was important for global financial markets and growth. Brainard is proud of the US role in getting the world economy on track to recovery after the financial crisis, and seeing a convergence on exchange rate management in the G-20 with a commitment to avoid use as a trade competitiveness tool. After all, she said, Treasury has always been a mission driven organization, focused on putting the American economy first.
This panel was the first in CGD’s Development Policy Initiative (DPI) Voices of Experience series, which will feature discussion with senior officials from past administrations of both parties who shaped international development, economic, and financial policy.
Thanks to Nancy Lee for helpful comments on this post.
There is no more valuable time than now, in the early days of the new administration, for a bipartisan exchange among leaders of previous administrationson the formulation and execution of the international economic policies. Join CGD for a conversation with three former Treasury Under Secretaries for International Affairs who played central roles in the Bush II and Obama administrations. The panel discusses the outlook for the global economy, international structural changes and challenges that have emerged since their time in office, the critical issues that will confront the next Under Secretary for International Affairs, and the nature of the job and lessons learned. This event marks the launch of the US Development Policy Initiative’s Voices of Experience series, which will feature discussions with senior officials from past administrations of both parties who shaped international development, economic, and financial policy.
The early days of this new administration are a critical time for bipartisan exchange among leaders of previous administrations. Please join CGD for a conversation with three former Treasury Under Secretaries for International Affairs who played central roles in the Bush II and Obama administrations’ formulation and execution of international economic policy. The panel will discuss the outlook for the global economy, international structural changes and challenges that have emerged since their time in office, the critical issues that will confront the next Under Secretary for International Affairs, and the nature of the job and lessons learned. We hope you can join us for this stellar panel, as we continue to build understanding of global economic challenges and how the United States, working with others, can best meet them.