Trade clampdowns are 'self-inflicting wounds' says IMF chief

Trade clampdowns are 'self-inflicting wounds' says IMF chief

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde, gestures while speaking at a news conference during the World Bank/IMF Spring Meetings at IMF headquarters in Washington,

Lagarde didn't refer to Trump directly, but her comment echoes similar warnings she has issued in recent days regarding trade. Speaking at a press conference earlier this month in Berlin, she said global economic growth could be cut off by a "sword of protectionism."

After the IMF raised its forecast for global economic growth this week, Lagarde expressed optimism that “spring is in the economy as well.”

The global economy is expected to expand by 3.5% this year and 3.6% in 2018, compared with growth of 3.1% last year, it estimated.

Legarde hoped that trend would continue in the medium and longer term, adding, “It is warmed by rays of sensible policies.”

“We need to make sure that this momentum is sustained … that growth is shared more equitably,” she said.

Her policy proposals included "making tax and benefit systems more equitable" and boosting infrastructure investment. She also urged countries to "mitigate the impact of structural changes" by possibly raising minimum wages, providing income tax credit, increasing job training, and facilitating labor mobility through relocation support and job search help.

Global economic growth could also be stymied by actions that could hurt future generations, she said, referring to debt burden, unsustainable pension systems, not maintaining infrastructure and the impact of climate change.



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