Washington, Feb 7 (IANS) US President Donald Trump on Wednesday nominated David Malpass, one of his top economic advisers and a Wall Street veteran, to be the next president of the World Bank.
Malpass, currently the under secretary for international affairs at the Treasury Department, has been a point person in the Trump administration’s trade negotiations with China and has overseen the government’s relationship with the World Bank.
He has also been a longtime critic of the World Bank’s lending practices and business model and has expressed concern about the overreach of such multilateral institutions.
Trump on Wednesday called him a “very extraordinary man.”
The appointment, which must be approved by the World Bank’s board, could prove controversial given Malpass’s skepticism of the bank and concerns that the Trump administration could politicise the role and use it to curb China’s growing influence around the world, The New York Times reported.
In nominating Malpass, Trump is installing a loyalist and presidential campaign adviser to a prominent post that comes with a five-year term.
“He’s been a supporter for a long time,” Trump said about Malpass.
Malpass is being tapped to head the World Bank after its previous president, Jim Yong Kim, abruptly announced in January that he would resign from the post, nearly three years before his term expired.
Senior Trump administration officials told reporters on Wednesday that Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, has briefed many finance ministers of other countries about the plan to select Malpass and that they have been “receptive” to the choice.
The officials said that Malpass has a history of working constructively with China and that he would honour commitments the bank had made on issues such as climate change.