Worries over Trump policies cloud start of IMF, World Bank meetings

Although the United States regularly uses the system to try to remove unfair trade restrictions and subsides, Trump administration officials have complained that countries often ignore its rulings.

He also said he was "encouraged" by the Trump administration's interest so far in the multilateral lender's mission and its plans to harness more private capital for development finance.JimYongKim: We want to bring more private financing to #globaldev to free up resources so countries can invest much more in their people. pic.twitter.com/imxba65fJE- World Bank (WorldBank) April 20, 2017 Improving trade, but no protectionism International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde told a pre-meeting news conference she believes they can work successfully with the Trump administration to improve trade by reducing subsidies and other trade distortions that limit competition.

"It would certainly entail major disorder", she said. "That requires a level playing field ... not protectionist measures".

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It is expected to bring together policy makers, business leaders, country analysts, and opinion leaders from Ghana, the United States and beyond, to discuss Ghana's prospects for economic recovery, explore issues of governance and regional leadership and examine the multiple strands on USA policy engagement.

At the same time, she sought to downplay differences with the Trump administration, saying that from the various contacts that she'd had with the administration so far, "I have every reason to believe we will make progress".

But she acknowledged that global trade agreements are rife with non-compliance violations - about 3,000 worldwide since 2008 - and that ways to settle disputes need improvement. Although polls do not suggest a clear path to the presidency for Le Pen, pundits are wary of saying she can't win. "We will contribute our part". Speaking at a news conference earlier this month in Berlin, she said global economic growth could be cut off by a "sword of protectionism".

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But US President Donald Trump rose to the White House on a nationalist economic agenda and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross this week dismissed some International Monetary Fund concerns as "rubbish".

But while acknowledging disillusionment with globalization, Lagarde said member countries should avoid the lure of trade barriers. In 2018, the worldwide financial institution expects a mild slowdown in economic activity, with the growth of 2.6 percent of GDP.

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

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"We need to make sure that this momentum is sustained and that we continue to have that growth and, more importantly, that that growth is shared more equitably", Lagarde said. 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.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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