Yellen urges G7 to "go big" on stimulus, says U.S. committed to multilateralism

FILE PHOTO: Former Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen speaks during a panel discussion at the American Economic Association/Allied Social Science Association (ASSA) 2019 meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., January 4, 2019. REUTERS/Christopher Aluka Berry/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Friday urged G7 finance leaders to “go big” with additional fiscal stimulus to recover from the coronavirus pandemic and told them that the Biden administration was committed to multilateral engagement and fighting climate change.

The Treasury said in a statement that Yellen emphasized the need to provide more fiscal support to promote a robust and lasting recovery, telling her G7 counterparts: “the time to go big is now.”

The Treasury also said Yellen expressed strong support for G7 efforts to tackle climate change, telling finance ministers and central bank governors that the Treasury Department’s engagement on this issue would change dramatically compared to the last four years under the Trump administration.

Yellen’s predecessor, Steven Mnuchin, often resisted inclusion of language on climate change in G7 and G20 communiques.

“We understand the crucial role that the United States must play in the global climate effort,” the Treasury statement quoted Yellen as saying.

Yellen also told the meeting that G7 countries should work with international financial institutions, such as the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, to address challenges facing low-income countries that are struggling to respond to the pandemic.

Her statement made no mention of increasing IMF resources to aid struggling countries, nor a new issue of IMF Special Drawing Rights, a topic that was to be discussed at the meeting.

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