Critics are concerned that President Biden’s new development initiatives may not differ much from past policies. While the administration acknowledges the failures of previous programs, it still imposes many stipulations on receiving nations, such as anti-corruption measures and transparency. Some critics also worry that Biden’s policies will impose green conditions on aid, similar to previous neoliberal reforms. For example, in Pakistan, the government cut fuel subsidies to secure an IMF bailout, a move that negatively impacts the poorest populations. The IMF denies claims of green conditionality on loans but admits to targeting fossil fuel subsidies for reform. Economists remain skeptical of the IMF’s promises to support the poorest populations. The Biden administration believes that its efforts are welcomed by trading partners who want the US to provide an alternative to China. The true level of support will become evident as Biden presents his development reforms at the G-20 and hosts the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum summit in November. Supporters hope that these efforts signify a genuine attempt to correct past problems caused by US policies. Reforming institutions like the IMF is a significant task that requires recognition of past mistakes.
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