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U.S. Treasury's Mnuchin Urges IMF to Enhance Exchange Rate Surveillance

U.S. Treasury's Mnuchin Urges IMF to Enhance Exchange Rate Surveillance

"If we can grow the U.S. economy, that's not just good for the USA worker, that's good for worldwide growth and it creates opportunities", Mnuchin said during a conversation with Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the global Monetary Fund, yesterday.

The advice may simply be ignored, especially after US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin last month insisted that an anti-protectionism pledge be dropped from a Group of 20 communiqué issued in Baden-Baden, Germany, said Eswar Prasad, former head of the IMF's China department.

Such moves, including a review of "Buy American" rules launched earlier this week, have raised concerns that the Trump administration is looking outside the World Trade Organization for remedies to restrict USA imports.

But the IMF chief said that such improvements can only come through multilateral dialogues, like those occurring at this week's meetings of the IMF, World Bank and G20 finance ministers. They say other countries are much more protective than U.S.

USA pressure in March forced a Group of 20 finance ministers meeting in Germany to strike the routine commitment against protectionist policies from a closing statement.

Schaeuble said there was "broad agreement" that "free trade is better for global growth".

During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump threatened to impose tariffs on China and Mexico and called global warming a hoax.

Officials who gathered for the spring meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund warned repeatedly 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.

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To lift the USA economy to growth of 3 percent or higher, up from the 2 percent rates seen in recent years, Mnuchin said the administration was focused on getting tax reform through Congress and also getting rid of unnecessary regulations.

"We need to make sure that this momentum is sustained and that we continue to have that growth and, more importantly, that that growth is shared more equitably", Lagarde said.

Asked at the Institute of International Finance about his message for his international counterparts, Cohn said the United States doesn't want to be "taken advantage of" any more.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said earlier on Friday neither topic was discussed in Washington and that he had seen a relaxation in the dispute with the United States over trade.

In the US, the Federal Reserve has raised short-term interest rates twice since December, is on target for more hikes this year and is weighing whether to begin selling part of its vast portfolio of bonds, a move that also could drive up rates.

Touted as the biggest taxation reform since India's Independence, the GST is expected to boost India's GDP growth by about 2 per centand check tax evasion.

The International Monetary Fund renewed its warnings against protectionism yesterday (20 April) as nationalist political trends threaten trade integration on both sides of the Atlantic.

"We treat you in reciprocal fashion".


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