IMF director warns global economic leaders against tariffs

World Today

Steven Mnuchin, U.S. Treasury Secretary, left, Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of International Monetary Fund, IMF, center, and Bruno Le Maire, France’s Minister of the Economy and Finance pose for a picture during the G20 finance ministers and central bankers summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Monday, March 19, 2018. Finance ministers and central bankers of G20 countries are meeting in Argentina at a summit eclipsed by growing concerns over U.S. President Donald Trump’s import tariffs on steel and aluminum and the potential of a trade war. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

G20 Finance Ministers are meeting this weekend in Buenos Aires.

In the backdrop trade tensions between the United States and China, but also between the U.S. and Japan, Canada and the European Union.

Also under the spotlight the relationship between the host Argentina and the International Monetary Fund, which recently approved a $50 billion loan.

CGTN’s Joel Richards reports.

The third G20 meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors takes place in Buenos Aires this weekend with trade tensions dominating the meeting.

The U.S. currently has placed tariffs on $35 billion of Chinese goods, with President Trump threatening to slap tariffs on all Chinese imports, valued $505 billion. But there is also a standoff between European Union and the U.S. on steel and aluminum exports.

IMF Director Christine Lagarde spoke about the impact of trade restrictions, the IMF forecasts, based on the restrictions in place so far.

“In the worst case scenario, under the current measures and not taking in to account the most recent announcement is in the range of 0.5 percent GDP on a global basis,” said Christine Lagarde the IMF Director.

This is Lagarde’s first visit to Buenos Aires since Argentina and the IMF signed a $50 billion deal. There were protests on Saturday, many Argentinians associate with the economic crisis of the early 2000s with the IMF. Inflation is at the highest point in two years, the peso at a record low, but Lagarde said she has full confidence in Argentina will turn things around.

“We see the economic recovery picking up in early 2019 and continuing on to 2020. We also see inflation coming down during that period of time and for the moment if were to ask me whether the partnership we have in place is working, it is effective, whether the authorities are on track, my answer is unequivocally, yes,” said Christine Lagarde the IMF Director.