World  

IMF chief says ‘get-tough’ politicians threaten trade

(FILES) This file photo taken on July 14, 2016 in Washington, DC, shows International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde speaking at the Center for Global Development marking the 15th anniversary of the Center. Lagarde will go on trial in France on December 12 over a massive state payout to tycoon Bernard Tapie made when she was finance minister, the court hearing the case said on September 12, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSON

(FILES) This file photo taken on July 14, 2016 in Washington, DC, shows International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde speaking at the Center for Global Development marking the 15th anniversary of the Center.<br />Lagarde will go on trial in France on December 12 over a massive state payout to tycoon Bernard Tapie made when she was finance minister, the court hearing the case said on September 12, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSON

The head of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde on Tuesday said politicians who campaigned on promises of protectionism and economic barriers were a threat to global trade.

“There is a growing risk of politicians seeking office by promising to ‘get tough’ with foreign trade partners through punitive tariffs or other restrictions on trade,” Lagarde said, according to prepared remarks.

Both US presidential nominees Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have announced their opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Obama administration’s signature Pacific trade deal.

Trump has proposed big tariffs on Chinese goods and denounced free trade agreements between the US, Canada and Mexico. British voters this year also chose to secede from the European Union.

In remarks she was due to deliver in an address in Toronto, Lagarde said she was “deeply concerned.”

Without naming any candidate, she described an anti-trade political climate, noting that the growth rate for global trade stood at two percent.

Prospects for US ratification of the TPP in 2016 appear slim, with US lawmakers casting doubt that it will receive substantial backing or come to a vote.

“Against this background, recent news about multilateral trade negotiations have been quite discouraging,” Lagarde said, adding that trade reforms could regain momentum “if the benefits are properly explained.”

Trade, she said, resulted in more competitive industries, greater innovation and lower prices for consumers.

In this article:
Christine LagardeIMF


No Comments yet

Related