U.S. looks to IMF to strengthen its forex rates oversight: Treasury official

A board displaying exchange rates is seen at a foreign exchange house in Mexico City, Mexico, February 9, 2017. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States will reiterate to the International Monetary Fund its role in keeping a close eye on global foreign exchange rates policies at next week’s spring meetings of the international lender, a senior Treasury official said on Thursday.

“We would be looking for the IMF to continue to strengthen its analysis of exchange rate policies of major economies,” the Treasury official said in a briefing with reporters ahead of next week’s semi-annual meeting of IMF and World Bank members. “We view that as very important.”

The official, who spoke under condition of anonymity, added currency surveillance was an important aspect of ensuring a fair and sustainable global economy.

Finance ministers and central bank governors from the Group of 20 major economies, known as the G20, are also scheduled to meet on the sidelines of the April 21-23 conference.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has been in his post for a little over two months and has already clashed with the international community.

At a meeting in Germany four weeks ago, the G20 abandoned a decade-old pledge to keep global trade free and open at the behest of the United States. The G20 also removed a commitment to finance the fight against climate change.

According to the senior Treasury official, the United States also plans to discuss financial regulation and international tax reform next week and Mnuchin is scheduled to hold a series of bilateral meetings.

President Donald Trump has given mixed signals on trade despite running for office on an increasingly protectionist campaign.

On Wednesday, he said that his administration will not label China a currency manipulator, backing away from a campaign promise.

Reporting by Lindsay Dunsmuir; Editing by Andrea Ricci