Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says the G20 meeting CAN be effective even if Putin and Xi Jinping skip the confab, as she touts a major loan push from the World Bank to counter China’s Belt and Road Initiative
- Yellen spoke to reporters in New Delhi as the G20 summit prepared
- She said Russia’s war against Ukraine was slowing growth
- The government is pushing for multilateral lending to counter Beijing’s influence
The absence of Russia’s Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping will not prevent the annual G20 summit from being successful, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told reporters on Friday.
“I believe that the G20 has been extremely effective, particularly under India’s leadership, despite obvious problems due to Russia’s war against Ukraine and Russia’s general absence from G20 initiatives,” Yellen told reporters in New Delhi.
She was the top official on the ground as President Joe Biden headed to India and stopped for fuel in Germany. The arrival was timed to coincide with Vice President Kamala Harris’ return from Asia, ensuring one of them was on U.S. soil at all times.
Yellen announced a push to increase resources for multilateral development banks – which U.S. officials see as a potential counter to China’s growing regional influence through its own Belt and Road Initiative.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen addressed the media as President Joe Biden traveled to India for the G20 summit
She said she was “fully aware” of the risk to global growth and said that “the main major influence is Russia’s war against Ukraine, which has driven up energy and food prices.”
“The most important thing we can do for global growth is for Russia to end its brutal war against Ukraine,” she said, as Ukraine continues to fight counteroffensives backed by weapons from the United States and its allies.
She said the administration has asked Congress for legislation that would lend $21 billion to International Monetary Fund trust funds, including to poor countries that “urgently” need more resources.
Yellen also said the United States had asked Congress for permission to borrow $21 billion from IMF trust funds, including one for the poorest countries that “urgently need more resources.”
She said a request for $2.25 billion would result in an additional $25 billion in global lending.
She called on other G20 countries to “strengthen” the financial capacity of the World Bank and other multilateral lending institutions.
“The reforms that I have suggested are underway could result in $200 billion in additional funding over the next decade,” she said, pointing to a boost from other reforms.
Yellen was also asked about Chinese President Xi Jinping’s absence from the event at a time of high tensions with Washington.
President Joe Biden’s international trip comes at a time when the leaders of China and Russia have decided to skip the event hosted by India
The White House told reporters aboard Air Force One that Biden had not had any recent phone calls with Xi and no meeting was planned in the near future.
She said the global economy has been “resilient” and the U.S. “has done particularly well.”
Yellen served as the public face of the United States on Friday. National security adviser Jake Sullivan and the White House press secretary briefed reporters along the way. Biden is expected to arrive here on Friday evening, but his first meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not be open to reporters.