Sometimes geo-politics can be funny and deserve a little snark in discussion. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), and World Bank, are holding a conference in DC. this weekend. Deplorable Secretary Mnuchin represents U.S. and Trump interests.
Amid the earlier G20 Summit the Trump effect ended up with changed language from the finance leadership. Titan Trump’s election changed the way the IMF and World Bank globalists talk about international trade. Bi-lateral and nationalism are no longer dirty words.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – International Monetary Fund members on Saturday dropped a pledge to fight protectionism amid a split over trade policy and turned their attention to another looming threat to global economic integration: the first round of France’s presidential election. (more)
However, funnier still is the resurfacing of a familiar face. You might well remember former Mexican Finance Minister Augustin Carstens resigned as Mexico’s central bank chief just after the election of Donald Trump. Well, apparently, the job of saving face for the changed approach of the IMF/World Bank is now squarely on Carsten’s shoulders.
A communique from the IMF’s steering committee on Saturday dropped an anti-protectionism pledge, adopting language from the Group of 20 nations that the Trump administration sought last month in Germany as it develops a strategy to slash U.S. trade deficits.
Earlier in the week, the IMF had warned that protectionist policies that restrict trade could choke off improving global growth.
Instead, the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) statement pledged that members would “work together” to reduce global trade and current account imbalances “through appropriate policies.”
Mexican central bank chief Agustin Carstens, the IMFC chairman, said most countries have some trade restrictions and that protectionism was an “ambiguous” term.
“Instead of dwelling on what that concept means, we managed to put it in a more positive, more constructive framework,” Carstens told a news conference.
Some officials chose to focus on the brightening global economy instead of the risks posed by the French election, new U.S. trade barriers and Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, said James Boughton, a former IMF official.
“There’s an awful lot of forced optimism about what these people are saying,” said Boughton, who is now with the Centre for International Governance Innovation, a Canadian think-tank. “Until the train goes off the tracks, everything looks fine.”
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin called for the IMF to step up its surveillance of members’ foreign exchange rates.
President Donald Trump “believes in reciprocal trade deals and reciprocal free trade,” Mnuchin told Lagarde in an on-stage interview. “What that means is that if our markets are open there should be a reciprocal nature to other markets which should be open as well.” (read more)