U.S. Seeks More Control of IDB Latin Loan Policies

Associated Press

The United States wants to increase its help to Latin debtor nations, but it must have more control over where its money goes, Treasury Secretary James A. Baker III told officials of the Inter-American Development Bank Monday.

"The United States is willing to work to secure this funding," Baker said. "But only if the appropriate checks and balances are adopted and lead to improvements in lending quality.

"In this time of tight budgets in the United States, it is unrealistic not to expect American taxpayers and their representatives to want greater accountability for the way their tax dollars are used," Baker told the opening of the Washington-based lending agency's three-day board of governors meeting.

Baker said the United States would beef up its backing of bank development programs by $9 billion, an increase of 75%, over the next four years in an overall goal of building up free-market economies and spurring growth.

"Our $9-billion increase in subscriptions alone would represent more than 70% of the IDB's usable resources," Baker said. "Yet right now, the U.S. is allowed to vote a share (34 percent) that is less than half the contribution percentage. In view of this imbalance, we don't believe it is unreasonable to ask for a change."

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