Sunday 26 March 2017

Lock in fiscal reforms now, implores Geithner

US Secretary of Treasury Timothy Geithner speaks at the Senate Finance Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington,
yesterday
US Secretary of Treasury Timothy Geithner speaks at the Senate Finance Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, yesterday

David Lawder and Rachelle Younglai

US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner yesterday insisted it was "absolutely critical" that his country lock in a set of fiscal reforms to put the nation's budget on a sustainable path.

"I don't believe this is something we can defer," Mr Geithner told the Senate Finance Committee at a hearing on the Obama administration's budget plan.

The comments came two days after the Democrats-led White House proposed a $3.7 trillion budget that offered $1.1tn in deficit reductions over 10 years.

Republicans have criticised the budget for not going far enough in its cutback proposals and have chided the administration for not taking bolder steps.

The administration has forecast that the budget deficit will reach a record $1.65tn this fiscal year, or 10.9pc of US gross domestic product.

When asked if it was safe to run trillion-dollar deficits, Mr Geithner said it was "absolutely critical for us to find a way to lock in a set of fiscal reforms".

"Unless we put in place a multi-year commitment to bring down the deficit, we will put at risk future growth and expansion," he said.

Mr Geithner also used his appearance to put in a pitch for corporate tax reforms that would reduce tax rates but eliminate special tax deductions.

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