Rep. Barr introduces bill calling for IMF to not recognize Taliban-run Afghanistan

U.S. Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY) introduced a bill on Aug. 20 that calls for the U.S. representative on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to not recognize the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan under Taliban control.

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In addition, Barr’s IMF Afghan Recognition Assurance Act, H.R. 5055, would ensure that IMF funds be barred from any Afghani governmental entity that is promoting acts of terror or the suppression of human rights.

“The Administration’s decision to withhold $450 million in SDR’s (special drawing rights) is a start, but it does not fix the underlying concern that Taliban militants may still gain access to IMF resources,” said Congressman Barr, who also serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “My bill would use American muscle to cut off Afghanistan from the IMF, unless there is a national interest to reverse that decision and we can be sure that the government in Afghanistan is protecting women’s rights and not supporting terrorists,” said Barr, the Republican Leader of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on National Security, International Development and Monetary Policy.

Last week, Barr sent a letter to New York Federal Reserve President John Williams calling for the safeguarding of Afghani assets held in the United States.

“Due to fast-moving events, I encourage you to engage in frequent coordination with Executive branch agencies in order to guarantee that only authorized representatives of Afghanistan, as recognized by the Secretary of State, enjoy de facto control of account access at the Fed, and that Afghanistan’s account cannot benefit the Taliban’s malign activities. In addition, I urge you to scrutinize significant transactions involving Afghanistan’s property at your institution, above and beyond automated procedures already in place, to detect, and potentially block, suspicious activity during this time of uncertainty,” Barr’s letter to Williams stated.

Barr said he is committed on all fronts to counter the rise of a Taliban-run government in Afghanistan.