Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
Money | By Oscar Reynolds

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

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

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. 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.

The International Monetary Fund and World Bank spring meetings bring the two multilateral institutions' 189 members face-to-face with Trump's "America First" agenda for the first time, just two blocks from the White House.

"From the various contacts that I've had with the administration so far, I have every reason to believe that we will make progress, that we will cooperate all together in order to support and indeed improve the system as we have it", Lagarde said.

Lagarde says trade is one of the "pillars" of prosperity.

"All countries, of course, should guard against what I have called the self-inflicted wounds, such as restrictions, subsidies and other trade distortions that reduce competition and economic openness", she said.

"The IMF is not a trade organization, but we are concerned about trade because it has been a major engine for growth", Lagarde noted.

She added that improvements must ensure a "level playing field" for trade, adopting a phrase often used by Trump administration officials. She vowed to continue to support the growth of trade, seeking ways to make it more efficient and fair, and fight against protectionist measures.

The IMF chief recommended that countries should implement fairer taxation, job training assistance and infrastructure investment as well as forward-looking measures to address unsustainable debt and pension schemes. Is trade going to continue to increase and grow?

Although polls do not suggest a clear path to the presidency for Marine Le Pen, pundits are wary of saying she can't win.

Le Pen has pledged to take France out of the euro zone and stage a referendum on exiting the European Union, as Britain voted to do a year ago. He added that, this year's projection is higher compared to last year because of good economic news from Europe and Asia and expected high growth in the United States.

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