Economic leaders appeal for an end to trade wars


Washington called Friday for action from other major world powers to spur economic growth, avoiding mention of the US-China trade war and blaming the current global slowdown on excess savings, flagging investment in China and Europe in particular.

The IMF's bylaws drafted at the end of World War Two require the Fund to be headquartered in the world's largest economy - which may require a shift in coming decades based on forecasts that China's GDP will eventually exceed that of the United States. She added that the detente in China-US trade tensions is shrinking the negative impact on global growth, "and you would not be surprised".

In addition to the battle between the United States and China, higher US tariffs went into effect Friday on $7.5 billion in European goods coming into the United States in a dispute involving airplane subsidies.

World Bank president David Malpass said that his focus for the meetings would be efforts to ensure that everything possible is done to restart global growth, given that the 700 million people living in extreme poverty - one in 12 people on the planet - would be the most harmed by a prolonged slowdown.

The fall meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank have been dominated by the trade disputes triggered by the Trump administration's policies aimed at lowering America's huge trade deficits and boosting US manufacturing jobs.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said US trade policies, which have included tariffs on billions of dollars of imports from China and other nations, are meant to improve the rules for global trade. So far those efforts have made little headway.

The deal preserves the U.S. veto power at the International Monetary Fund and ends a deadlock over quotas while avoiding a bigger share for China for the time being, said Mark Sobel, a former U.S. Treasury official and U.S. executive director at the International Monetary Fund.

In his first comments since talks with United States president Donald Trump last week, China's top trade negotiator Liu He said Saturday the countries have "made substantial progress in many aspects and laid an important foundation for a phase one agreement". "The response from the US administration has always been a closed door".

But the current disputes have created uncertainty and growth in global commerce has come to a virtual standstill, Georgieva said, noting that problems go beyond bilateral disagreements and extend to outdated trade rules. -China trade agreement announced last week should lessen the damage to the global economy slightly, but solid global growth would not return until the two countries resolved their differences and all countries moved to modernize the rules of global trade to lessen future disputes. "We need to have trade peace", she said. The Trump administration has repeatedly attacked the Geneva-based World Trade Organization, saying it is biased against the United States.

"We all know that we have been reaching agreements on trade based primarily on the past, but you can not drive just looking in the rearview mirror". She noted that global commerce has been transformed in recent years by advances in technology, and those advances need to be acknowledged in new trade rules.

In the announcement last week, Trump said he was suspending a tariff increase on $250 billion U.S. of Chinese products that had been scheduled to take effect this week.