The Trump administration has notified World Bank shareholders that President Donald Trump intends to pick senior Treasury Department official David Malpass as the US nominee to lead the development lender, people familiar with the decision said on Monday. Among its key missions is helping combat poverty in developing countries.
China is the World Bank's third largest shareholder after Japan, with about a 4.5 percent share of voting power.
Having Malpass at the helm of the World Bank would fit a pattern inside the Trump administration of tapping officials to lead institutions whose core missions they have publicly questioned or opposed.
More broadly, the Trump presidency has defined much of its mission by challenging the global institutions that emerged out of World War II such as North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and what eventually became the World Trade Organization.
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He previously served as chief economist at Bear Stearns, where National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow was his mentor.
NEW YORK - APRIL 14: Republican David R. Malpass announces his U.S. Senate candidacy in front of City Hall April 14, 2010 in New York City.
Malpass' public forecasting has at times been misguided and arguably shaped by his political leanings. While at Bear Stearns, he authored an op-ed published in August 2007 in the Wall Street Journal waving off warning signs of the impending financial crisis.
While the announcement is expected Wednesday, the sources cautioned the decision would not be final until the President announced it. "I can tell you if he chooses David, it will be a great choice". Kim, first nominated by former US president Barack Obama in 2012, stepped down on February 1 to join private equity fund Global Infrastructure Partners, more than three years before his term ended, amid differences with the Trump administration over climate change and development resources.
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Kim was first nominated by former US President Barack Obama in 2012.
Trump has railed against multilateral institutions and questioned USA foreign aid commitments, and his choice for the World Bank could precipitate a clash with other nations over the US' continued dominance of the global development bank.
By an unwritten tradition since the bank's founding in 1944, the board has always chosen Washington's nominee.
Over the past two years, Malpass has pushed for the World Bank to halt lending to China, which he says is too wealthy for such aid, especially when Beijing has subjected some developing countries including Sri Lanka and Pakistan to crushing debt loads with its "Belt and Road" infrastructure development programme.
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Kim's unexpected departure could set up a contentious fight between the Trump administration and other countries who argue that the United States exerts too much influence over the bank, which is based in Washington.