IMF Chief warns against tampering global trade, investment

WASHINGTON, The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Chief Christine Lagarde warned Thursday against tampering with investment and trade as such tensions could undermine confidence in investment.

Lagarde made the remarks at the opening of IMF spring meetings with the World Bank.

“Investment and trade are two key engines that are finally picking up. We don’t want to damage that,” she said.

Her comments come as tensions hang between the US and China since President Donald Trump imposed steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from China.

In response, Beijing hit the US with tariffs on its pork and sorghum.

Lagarde highlighted that international cooperation “has served us so well and delivered more progress for more people than at any time in history.” Although “the actual impact of growth is not very substantial when you measure in terms of GDP,” trade wars could make businesses “reluctant to invest.” For his part, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said, “the challenge now is to ensure that strong growth will translate into inclusive growth, so that the benefits of global economic integration are enjoyed by all members of society.” In order to drive growth, he urged policy makers to focus on filling infrastructure gaps, improving education, and increasing female labor participation.

“This period of robust growth is a great opportunity to invest in human and physical capital,” Kim said.

Source: Kuwait News Agency