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Finance leaders grapple with globalisation fears

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(22 Apr 2017) At the IMF and World Bank spring meetings in Washington, the IMF's steering body largely adopted trade language from last month's G-20 meeting and played down differences with President Donald Trump over free trade. The G-20, at a meeting last month in Germany, dropped a pledge to oppose trade protectionism amid pushback from the Trump administration, which says trade policy needs to more clearly benefit American companies and workers.The steering panel also issued a sunnier outlook on global economic growth. But finance leaders cautioned that too many people have been left behind at a time when low-wage competition and automation have reduced factory jobs in the world's wealthy economies.In Washington this week, Lagarde and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim talked up the benefits of unfettered global trade. Lagarde described protectionist measures as "self-inflicted wounds" that hobble economic growth.Some at the spring meetings have warned that economic policymakers needed "to prepare ourselves" for the end of easy money policy from the world's central banks.In the US, the Federal Reserve has raised short-term interest rates twice since December, is on target for more increases this year and is weighing whether to begin selling part of its vast portfolio of bonds, a move that also could drive up rates.Rising interest rates in the United States could drive up the dollar, hurt American exporters and squeeze foreign borrowers who took out loans they have to repay in the US currency.You can license this story through AP Archive: Find out more about AP Archive:


AP Archive 4092696 c4a7694c86cdb8d9a856fa7761b8cfd0 US IMF Policy District of Columbia United States Jim Yong Kim Christine Lagarde Donald Trump Business Government and politics
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