By VICTORIA GUIDA and BEN WHITE
David Malpass, President Donald Trump’s expected pick to head the World Bank, has been a major player in trade talks with the Chinese. | Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo
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President Donald Trump is expected to tap Treasury Department official David Malpass as the U.S. pick to lead the World Bank, according to senior administration officials, a clear sign the administration wants to rein in the international financial institution.
Malpass, Treasury’s undersecretary for international affairs, has said global organizations like the World Bank “have grown larger and more intrusive” and “the challenge of refocusing them has become urgent and more difficult.”
The institution aims to reduce global poverty by making loans, with a sizable portion flowing to China and India. Former World Bank President Jim Yong Kim stepped down abruptly early this year, effective Feb. 1, three years before the end of his term. Nominations for his replacement open Thursday and close March 14.
The administration plans to announce its selection on Wednesday, officials said.
The U.S. has historically been allowed to choose the head of the World Bank, although that dynamic has more recently faced pushback from other nations. Nominating someone who has been so openly critical of the bank could intensify that resistance.
One official said Malpass drove the negotiations on a capital increase and reform package for the World Bank last year, which shows that he’s dedicated to the core mission of the institution.
Malpass has been a major player in trade talks with the Chinese. If he is chosen by the World Bank’s executive board, his departure would mean yet another vacancy at an already thinly staffed Treasury.
Before joining the administration, Malpass was an economic adviser to Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign. He previously served as chief economist at Bear Stearns, where National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow was his mentor.
He was also a deputy assistant Treasury secretary under President Ronald Reagan and deputy assistant secretary of State under President George H.W. Bush. He later founded Encima Global, a market research firm focused on global economic and policy issues.