Brazil throws support behind US nominee for IDB head

Brazil throws support behind US nominee for IDB head

People Economy & Policy Debt Latin America US

(Updates with Brazil support for intended nominee from the United States to lead the IDB)

Brazil on Wednesday came out in support of the United States' candidate to lead the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), putting the intended nominee, Mauricio Claver-Carone, in a strong position to take over the region's largest lending institution and only its fifth president since its founding in 1959.

A day earlier, the US Department of Treasury said it planned to nominate Claver-Carone, a Cuban-American lawyer, to take over September 30 from Luis Alberto Moreno, a Colombian national who has held the bank's top spot for 15 years. In a recent interview with LatinFinance, Moreno spoke about the need to save both lives and livelihoods from the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The Government of Brazil welcomes the announcement of the United States Government's strong commitment to the future of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), with the American candidacy to the leadership of that institution," a joint statement from Brazil's Economy and Foreign ministries said.

Claver-Carone is the the senior director for Western Hemisphere affairs at the US National Security Council and leads the US government's América Crece program to promote private-sector investments in energy and infrastructure projects in Latin America and the Caribbean. 

He also had a had in creating the US International Development Finance Corporation, known as the DFC, to replace the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), according to the Treasury.

Claver-Carone's nomination was seconded by Ecuador. Brazil had been expected to put forth its own candidate. Argentina and Paraguay were also mulling nominees of their own.

The US government owns 30% of IDB's shares, while Brazil has 11.4% and Ecuador has 0.61%. Argentina, meanwhile, has 11.4%, followed by Mexico with 7.3%.

Claver-Carone is known for a hardline stance on US economic policies with Cuba and has reportedly influenced US President Donald Trump's policy towards Venezuela.