International Monetary Fund warns risks of rising global trade tensions

20 April, 2018, 00:54 | Author: Essie Rivera
  • IMF says unexpected rise in US inflation post-Donald Trump's aggressive fiscal stimulus could unleash financial turmoil

Describing the latest incident of outrageous rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in India as "revolting", International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde today hoped that the Indian authorities starting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi would pay more attention to it.

She made the remarks during an interaction with reporters at the start of the spring meeting of the worldwide finance organisations.

The International Monetary Fund is warning that rising trade tensions between the U.S. and China risk undermining a solidly growing global economy.

"Investment and trade are two key engines that are finally picking up". In March, US President Donald Trump signed an order to impose a 25-percent tariff on imported steel and a 10-percent tariff on imported aluminium, after which he issued a memorandum introducing $60 billion in extra tariffs on China over allegations of intellectual property theft.

"It will not be something that affects two countries".

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Lagarde, a long-time advocate for women's rights, said the comments reflected her personal view, not that of the institution.

While she praised the nation's economic performance, "what has happened is just revolting", Lagarde said when asked about the incidents in the past week involving a seven- and an eight-year-old girl.

Global cooperation "has served us so well and delivered more progress for more people than at any time in history", but is now being questioned, Lagarde said.

Lagarde however cautioned that "unilateral trade restrictions have not been helpful, and we suspect that they might even dent confidence". But at the same time, she urged the USA to take advantage of good economic times to reduce its debt and deficits, rather than increase them. 'The actual impact on growth is not very substantial when you measure in terms of GDP we're talking about decimals in most cases, ' Lagarde says.

But it will be the implementation that matters, she said.

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