Economy and Treasury Department Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Request

June 20, 2014

April 29, 2014

Transcript Excerpt:

REP. DIAZ-BALART: Mr. Secretary, let me brought you — bring you to a couple other points here that were brought up. One was — one was not brought up. Let me — let me start with this one. Last week Mexico I heard was considering filing an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court taking the side of Argentina in a case against U.S. investors. Now, we had the secretary of state; I asked him whether the Department of State would intervene even if asked, and he said absolutely not. But now we know by press reports that last July junior officials in your department urged the IMF to file a similar brief before they were overruled (by the way ?) by — all credit to senior department officials, and the U.S. then obviously withdrew such support. Again, that would have been an unprecedented move by the IMF. Could you tell us with respect to this Mexican brief, has any official in your department encouraged Mexico or expressed approval to Mexico, contacted Mexico at any point in the last year regarding them filing that brief?

SEC. LEW: Well, Congress, to just be clear, we did file in the lower court proceedings a brief. I’m not going to defend Argentina’s behavior in any general way, but on this narrow issue of, you know, banking — of law, we do think that the rights of creditors warrants attention, and we filed a brief. There is a general policy in the executive branch to only file amicus briefs at the Supreme Court when invited, so we didn’t file an amicus brief at the Supreme

REP. DIAZ-BALART: Right. I’m aware of that. My question is, have you had contact with Mexico for asking them or encouraging — (inaudible)?

SEC. LEW: I’ve had conversations with my counterparts. I’ve told them exactly what I told you, which makes it clear what we think the right legal outcome would be. And, you know, I think the conversations with the IMF, you know, last year kind of reflected them just conforming to the fact that we — you know, we weren’t filing a brief, they didn’t file a brief

REP. DIAZ-BALART: No, Mr. Secretary, my question is separate. My question is, have folks in your department, as far as you know, have any contact with — have contact either with Mexico asking or encouraging them to do that?

SEC. LEW: I just said I’ve had conversations with my counterparts.

REP. DIAZ-BALART: Counterparts in Mexico?

SEC. LEW: Yeah.

REP. DIAZ-BALART: So you have had those — you have asked them to?

SEC. LEW: I just told you, they’ve asked us our views; I’ve told them what I’ve told you.

REP. DIAZ-BALART: All right. Well — I think I’m out of time. Mr. Chairman. Thank you, sir.

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