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Efficient, resilient, and accountable governance systems are essential to successfully manage natural resources, provide public services, foster trade, attract private investment, and manage aid relationships. Corruption and secrecy are often at odds with such goals. Illicit financial flows, for example, undermine development and governance while secrecy in extractive industries can squander a nation’s wealth and weaken the social contract.
CGD’s work in this area focuses on contact transparency, tax evasion and avoidance, efforts to combat money laundering and terrorism financing, and the negative effects they can have on remittance flows and international security.
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The Trump administration has had very little to say about foreign assistance, apparently preferring to let the budget knife do its talking. But if we want to discern some sort of guiding philosophy to aid coming from this White House, perhaps we should look no further than aid to Israel and Egypt, the number one and number two overall US foreign aid recipients. In a budget that imposes double-digit cuts to programs aimed at disease eradication and response to humanitarian crises, military aid to these two countries has been cut not even by a whisker.
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.
With cuts to foreign aid on the horizon, the United States, now more than ever, needs to sharpen its tools to operate in a constrained budget environment. Key to this approach is a strong development finance institution that can leverage private investment to achieve development outcomes, as well as create opportunity for American companies abroad—all at less than no cost to the US taxpayer.
CGD Europe recently published a (UK) election manifesto on development with proposals across 19 areas. One area that raised comments and feedback was the proposals on tax, which left out country-by-country reporting. I can’t speak for others who contributed ideas to the manifesto, but the reason I did not suggest public CBCR is this: I’m not convinced by it.
Each year, as ministers gather from all corners of the world for the World Bank/IMF Spring Meetings, Washington DC resounds with a cacophony of differing perspectives on future prospects, like a giant, multinational orchestra tuning up. Yet this time, in both public and private gatherings, with both developed and developing country dignitaries, as well as leading technocrats from the international financial institutions, one refrain kept recurring, defining the mood of the whole symphony. I would summarize it as 'The numbers are looking better, so why don't I feel good about them?'