On January 26, 2021, Ed Wilson was quoted in Compliance Week on former chair of the Federal Reserve Janet Yellen’s confirmation as secretary of the Treasury Department.
Wilson said Yellen will use her “bully pulpit” at the Treasury to promote “a broader set of policies on financial institutions that promote greater equity in our society.” She will encourage companies to think more critically about how climate change affects their business and provide urgency to their plans to reduce their carbon footprint, in addition to pushing corporations to increase the diversity of voices in management positions and on their boards of directors, he added.
According to the article, one area in which the Treasury, under the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), may act quickly is on sanctions. OFAC will likely reassess former President Donald Trump’s 300-plus sanctions against Iran but may be less inclined to act quickly to unwind sanctions against China without first obtaining concessions, experts believe.
In her confirmation hearing, Yellen said the United States must “[hold] China accountable for its unfair and illegal practices and [make] sure that American technologies are not facilitating China’s military buildup, human rights abuses, or other malign activities.” She also promised to “use the full array of tools to counter China’s abusive practices and hold Beijing accountable.”
“One of the fascinating things to watch will be how the Treasury uses the power of the dollar to get China into the trading system in a fair way,” Wilson said. The Biden administration will have plenty of room to maneuver in its negotiations with China, because the Trump administration took so many actions, usually without the backing of traditional U.S. allies. “This will not be a go-it-alone administration,” Wilson said.
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