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Mnuchin Considering Visit to China to Discuss Trade Practices

24 April, 2018, 03:11 | Author: Samuel Sharp
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U.S. representatives took a strong line at the International Monetary Fund spring meetings over the weekend, the Financial Times reports, insisting that large surpluses in countries like China and Germany be scaled back.

The International Monetary Fund's policymaking committee says a strong world economy is threatened by increasing tension over trade and countries' heavy debt burden.

"I look at this as a package transaction... we support a capital increase on the World Bank along with the associated reforms that they're talking about making", Mnuchin said, adding that he was hopeful Congress would approve the increase.

Trade tensions dominated the three days of talks among top finance officials attending meetings of the Group of 20 major economies, the 189-nation International Monetary Fund and its sister lending agency, the World Bank.

Still, he said the USA would continue to exert its "maximum pressure" campaign until the rogue regime abandons its nuclear weapons program in a proven way. But there's danger ahead, even if the world economy is projected to grow by 3.6 percent in 2018. In a speech prepared for the bank's policy committee, Mnuchin urged the bank to aim its resources at "poorer borrowers and away from countries better able to finance their own development objectives".

The IMFC Chairman and Governor of the South African Reserve Bank, Lesetja Kganyago, said at a press conference that the members shared the view that trade is significant for global economic recovery.

But U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin expressed cautious optimism Saturday that countries could settle their differences without a trade war. Trump then ordered his trade representative to go after up to $100bn more in Chinese products. 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.

"It's definitely a job that we have been working, that we will continue working with, and now I am delighted he's supporting us" Lagarde said at a Facebook Live interview with CNBC at the IMF Spring Meetings in Washington. We reaffirm our support for the IMF's work to help countries achieve the 2030 SDGs.

The US has had discussions with Japan on a bilateral trade agreement, the secretary said.

"We agree that the IMF will need to consider the effects of technology and digitalisation in its macroeconomic analysis, including on inequality, productivity, labor and financial markets, fiscal policy, monetary policy, and measurement of the digital economy", it said.

"The larger threat is posed by increasing trade tensions and the possibility that we enter a sequence of unilateral, tit-for-tat measures, all of which generate uncertainties for global trade and GDP growth", Roberto Azevedo, director-general of the World Trade Organisation, told the IMF's policy committee.



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