International Monetary Fund communiqué: Trade, debt seen as threats to global growth

24 April 2018, 02:55 | Andres Norman

Mnuchin considers traveling to China amid trade spat

Trade disputes, debt burden threaten global growth: IMF

At an announcement Friday from the International Monetary Fund meetings, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin advocated the International Monetary Fund to "measure up to the plate" to predict out states participated in unfair trade practices - a common refrain from the Trump administration is the commerce penalty dangers are not protectionist, however simply searching "reasonable" exchange.

Secretary Mnuchin said he is "cautiously optimistic" of reaching an agreement with China that bridges their differences on trade.

"The discussions were really more around the governor's actions at the PBOC (People's Bank of China) and certain actions they've announced in terms of opening some of their markets, which we very much encourage and appreciate", Mnuchin told reporters on the sidelines of an International Monetary Fund meeting in Washington on Saturday.

China retaliated with tariffs of its own on USA imports, particularly from the agriculture and metal industries.

Mnuchin differed markedly from his counterparts, saying the risk to global growth was from unfair trade practices, rather than the trade tensions.

The global growth outlook faces rising threats from trade tensions and mounting debt despite a strengthening and "increasingly broad-based" expansion at the moment, according to a statement from world finance ministers and central bankers.

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"The intensifying challenges to multilateralism call for an unequivocal and forceful voice of the IMF and WTO in favour of a rule-based worldwide trading system and against protectionism", he added.

"In line with central bank mandates and mindful of financial stability risks, monetary accommodation should continue where inflation remains weak and be gradually withdrawn where inflation looks set to return to central bank targets", the communique said. Trump has proposed imposing tariffs on as much as $150 billion on Chinese imports, while China has vowed to retaliate on everything from American soybeans to planes. "I'm not going to make a comment on timing, nor do I have anything confirmed".

Bankers and finance ministers from the IMF's 189 member countries met in Washington, DC, on the 10th anniversary of the global financial crisis. Moscow is seeking "clarification" on USA sanctions, Mnuchin said, without elaborating. "The discussions were really more around the governor's actions at the PBOC (People's Bank of China) and certain actions they've announced in terms of opening some of their markets, which we very much encourage and appreciate".

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said in a statement that, "We know that corruption hurts the poor, hinders economic opportunity and social mobility, undermines trust in institutions and causes social cohesion to unravel".

"The Chinese side has received information that the United States side hopes to come to Beijing to discuss economic and trade issues".

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