IMF urges G20 to avoid pro­tec­tion­ism

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS -

THE IN­TER­NA­TIONAL Mon­e­tary Fund (IMF) yes­ter­day urged G20 lead­ers to avoid “my­opic” na­tion­al­is­tic poli­cies and to work to­gether to re­solve their trade and eco­nomic dif­fer­ences dur­ing their meet­ing in Ger­many later this week. In a pointed mes­sage be­fore the July 7/8 gath­er­ing – the first for US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump – in Ham­burg, the IMF said a rules-based and open trad­ing sys­tem was vi­tal for a sta­ble world econ­omy. “My­opic pur­suit of zero-sum poli­cies can only end by hurting all coun­tries, as his­tory shows,” the IMF said in its G20 sur­veil­lance note, which is con­sid­ered by the lead­ers in their dis­cus­sions on the global econ­omy. “Be­cause na­tional poli­cies in­evitably in­ter­act in a num­ber of vi­tal ar­eas, cre­at­ing strong spillovers across coun­tries, the world econ­omy works far bet­ter for all when pol­i­cy­mak­ers en­gage in reg­u­lar di­a­logue and work within agreed mech­a­nisms to re­solve dis­agree­ment,” the IMF said. The G20 in­cludes ad­vanced and emerg­ing economies. The IMF’s pitch to main­tain mul­ti­lat­eral co-op­er­a­tion comes as the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion is con­sid­er­ing im­pos­ing broad new tar­iffs or quo­tas on for­eign steel im­ports based on na­tional se­cu­rity grounds, a move that has not oc­curred since the World Trade Or­gan­i­sa­tion was launched in 1995. Ger­man Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel, the host of the G20, has pledged to fight for free trade and press on with ef­forts to tackle cli­mate change at the sum­mit, in a di­rect chal­lenge to Trump’s poli­cies. – Reuters

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