Chairman Rogers, Ranking Member Lowey, and members of the subcommittee, it is good to be here with you today to discuss the President’s Budget.
In FY 2019, the Treasury Department requests $1.4 billion for International Programs. This reflects the Administration’s priority of preserving investments in multilateral development institutions and remaining a key donor to those institutions. Constructive use of concessional funds is an important component of our agenda to promote better economic policies and foster growth. Our participation will contribute to a more democratic, prosperous, and secure global economy.
Our budget envisions United States’ contribution levels that are more appropriate relative to those of our partner countries. We seek to balance priorities and direct government resources to programs that support the national interest and national security.
Treasury also encourages international financial institutions to operate more efficiently, and has been a driver of shareholder support for reforms to the multilateral development banks. These reforms are aimed at improving governance, maximizing development impact, and ensuring financial discipline. Treasury continues to seek reforms at several of these institutions to improve monitoring, evaluation, independent compliance operations, and the efficient deployment of capital, particularly to countries that need it most.
I would also like to highlight Treasury’s request for $30 million for the Office of Technical Assistance (OTA). OTA helps to reduce countries’ dependence on financial aid by helping them to mobilize domestic resources more effectively and supporting private-sector economic growth. In addition, Treasury plays an important role in combating terrorist financing, among other financial crimes, and OTA’s provision of technical assistance is key to enforcing relevant laws. Ultimately, the United States expects a strong return on this investment not only because it will help other countries to stand on their own, but also because it will help lead to more secure and stable markets around the world.
The policies in the President’s Budget demonstrate this Administration’s commitment to promoting economic growth, putting our country on a sound fiscal path in the long term, and prioritizing our national security.
Thank you very much. I would be happy to answer any questions.