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Ashley Carr
April 23, 2017

A communique from the International Monetary and Financial Committee, released Saturday in Washington, said that officials "are working to strengthen the contribution of trade to our economies".

The IMF, for instance, is projecting a debt -to-GDP-ratio of nearly 67 percent in 2018 which the Fund says shows that the debt reduction measures are working. The president has already backed down from a campaign pledge to officially label China a currency manipulator.

Speaking ahead of this week's annual spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank, IMF managing director Christine Lagarde said these two elements were needed to "create a more resilient and inclusive global economy".

Mexican central bank chief Agustin Carstens, the IMFC chair, described protectionism as a "relative term" and "ambiguous", and said it had been replaced in the communique with something more useful.

Some positions remained little changed.

"There is no country that does not have any provision on trade", Carstens told a news conference.

It's not clear if the U.S. is winning anyone over with its trade stance.

The Trump administration has threatened to raise tariffs if partners don't agree to renegotiate trade agreements and create fairer conditions for U.S. goods. "There is evidently a need to better communicate the benefits of trade and globalization".

Arrest made after 2 officers shot in Seattle
A K-9 unit stands near the scene of a shooting involving several police officers in downtown Seattle , Thursday, April 20, 2017 . A 19-year-old male suspect fled into the entryway of an office building and began exchanging gunfire with police.


The comments came a day after Trump ordered the U.S. Commerce Department to investigate whether steel imports posed a threat to U.S. national security - a move that could lead to the U.S. imposing tariffs on steel.

Shortly after inauguration, Trump signed executive orders withdrawing the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and calling for a re-work of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The IMF's latest economic forecast projects global growth of 3.5 percent this year, which would be the fastest pace in five years and up from 3.1 percent last year.

While the outlook is improving, growth is still modest and subject to heightened political and policy uncertainties, it said.

The world economy has struggled to regain millions of jobs lost after a devastating financial crisis hit in 2008 and the finance leaders acknowledged the adverse effects the deep-downturn, playing a major role in the rising pressures against free trade and immigration.

Countries with large external surpluses and sound public finances have a particular responsibility for contributing to a more robust global economy by deploying fiscal policy aggressively to boost growth and help facilitate global rebalancing.

Global policymakers were poised on Saturday to drop another pledge to resist protectionism on trade, as Donald Trump's election win continues to shake up the consensus at gatherings of finance ministers and central bank governors.

In his remarks to the IMF's policy committee, Mnuchin repeated a call for the International Monetary Fund to police the currency markets and call out countries that undervalue their currencies to gain an unfair price advantage for their exporters.

Other reports by My Hot News

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