International Monetary Fund members put off voting change; agree to boost lending capacity

International Monetary Fund members put off voting change; agree to boost lending capacity”

But major developing economies, which account for a growing share of global GDP, warn that without a shift of the power structure the International Monetary Fund risks losing legitimacy and the ability to influence economic policies.

All the meetings, which are scheduled to conclude Saturday, are expected to be dominated by debate over the best way to cool rising trade tensions, which have seen the world's two biggest economies, the United States and China, impose punitive tariffs on billions of dollars of each other's exports.

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said on Thursday that though India has worked on the fundamentals of its economy, there are problems, including long-term drivers of growth that need to be addressed. "Our meetings this week are an opportunity for all parties to make progress in moving from a trade truce to a trade peace".

Aso said the group felt that the risks remained weighted to the downside with the major threats coming from trade wars and geopolitical tensions.

It was Georgieva's first press conference at the meetings after she took over the helm of the International Monetary Fund on October 1 from Christine Lagarde, who was nominated head of the European Central Bank.

The IMF and World Bank meetings were expected to be dominated by the trade disputes which were triggered by the Trump administration's get-tough policies aimed at lowering America's huge trade deficits and boosting USA manufacturing jobs.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said USA 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.

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. So far those efforts have made little headway.

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Georgieva said that a new estimate factoring in a US-China deal slightly reduces that lost input, to a still-significant 0.6 percent. He said the European Union was ready to negotiate a settlement to avoid the tariffs but so far the US has rejected those efforts.

"From the very beginning, we have made it very clear that we want to avoid a trade war", Le Maire said.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who holds an effective veto over major Fund decisions, endorsed the move, which calls for a doubling of the IMF's crisis lending fund to about $500 billion, restoring it to levels during the 2008-09 financial crisis.

The administration of US President Donald Trump has repeatedly attacked the Geneva-based WTO, saying that it is biased against the US.

Although Washington did postpone plans to increase tariffs on some $250 billion of Chinese imports - which had been due to take effect earlier this week - it is still up in the air whether another U.S. tariff hike due on December 15 will be implemented.

"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".

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters Wednesday that the USA and Chinese negotiators were working to hammer out details on this "phase one" agreement with a goal of having a deal that Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping can sign at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in mid-November.

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