clear
Sunday December 16th, 2018 9:58PM

World Bank, IMF heads urge US, China to play by trade rules

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

NUSA DUA, Indonesia (AP) — The heads of the World Bank and IMF on Thursday urged the U.S. and China to play by world trade rules and de-escalate a dispute over Beijing's technology development strategy that threatens to do lasting damage to the global economy.

Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, said she would advise Beijing and Washington to cool down, fix aspects of the world trading system that need fixing and "don't break it."

Lagarde and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim spoke separately on the sidelines of the lenders' annual meeting in a resort zone of the tropical Indonesian island of Bali. The event brings together finance ministers and central bankers from many economies, amid tight security: a line of armed personnel carriers were lined up alongside a beach path and access to the area was tightly controlled.

Asked about the escalating dispute between the U.S. and China, Lagarde said that so far there had been no "contagion" of major damage from penalty tariffs imposed by the two countries on each other's exports, but that they do risk hurting "innocent bystanders."

Lagarde said her advice was in three parts: "De-escalate. Fix the system. Don't break it."

The rules-making World Trade Organization, based in Geneva, has ways of addressing U.S. complaints that China's policies unfairly extract advanced technologies and put foreign companies at a disadvantage in its push to dominate certain industries, she said. But she added that the WTO does need to work on addressing issues like subsidies.

"Our strong recommendation is to escalate work for a world trade system that is stronger, that is fairer and is fit for the purpose," she said in opening remarks.

Lagarde also, somewhat obliquely, said policies aimed toward an excessively "dominant position" were not compatible with free and fair trade.

Earlier in the week, the IMF downgraded its global economic outlook, forecasting growth will be 3.7 percent this year rather than its earlier estimate for 3.9 percent growth. It also issued reports on government finance and financial stability that warn of the risks of disruptions to world trade.

Kim said the World Bank was working with developing countries to prepare for a further deterioration. If tariffs were imposed to their most extreme limits there would be a "clear slowdown and the impact on the developing countries would be greater," he said.

"Trade is very critical because that is what has lifted people out of extreme poverty.

"I am a globalist. That is my job. That is our only chance of ending extreme poverty. We need more trade not less trade," he said.

Kim said the bank had offered help to Indonesia for its recent earthquake and tsunami and other disasters. The people gathered in Bali for the meetings got a taste of such hazards themselves with an overnight earthquake that shook hotels in the resort area cordoned off for the event. Indonesian officials said the worst damage occurred on Java island. There was no evidence of severe damage in the area near the finance meetings.

Bali, a popular tourist destination, reflects both the positive and negative aspects of Indonesia's own rapid development over the past three decades — Lagarde praised the democratic, Muslim-majority country of 260 million for making huge progress in improving its finances and fostering strong growth.

But the byproducts of the tourist boom in largely Hindu Bali have been significant inequality and environmental damage.

The annual meetings take place at a time of growing concern over trends other than trade, such as moves to raise borrowing costs in the U.S. and some other regions to help cool growth and keep inflation in check. Rising interest rates are drawing investment flows out of emerging markets in Asia and Latin America at a time when growth in their exports is likely to slow.

Argentina and Pakistan are among countries grappling with potentially destabilizing financial woes. Concerns are growing, also, over slowing growth in China and rising debts among some developing countries resulting from projects associated with Beijing's "Belt and Road Initiative" to develop ports, roads and other infrastructure.

On Monday, Pakistan Finance Minister Asad Umar said the country would seek a bailout loan from the IMF to address its mounting balance of payments crisis.

Asked about whether such help might amount to a "bailout" for Chinese loans, Lagarde said she had not yet seen a formal request for help but thought she might receive one later in the day when meeting with Umar. Any such help would have to be completely "transparent," she added.

"In whatever work we do we need a complete understanding and complete transparency about the nature of a debt that is bearing on a country," she said.

Leaders of Southeast Asian nations were also gathering in Bali for finance-related meetings, as finance ministers of the Group of 20 industrial nations and officials from the Group of 24 developing economies. The meetings include sideline events staged by non-governmental organizations.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP World News, AP Business, AP Business - Economy, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Financial Services
© Copyright 2018 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Michael charges into Southeast after slamming north Florida
A weakened Michael smashes across the Southeast after crashing ashore and leaving wide destruction in parts of the Florida Panhandle; at least one death
1:10AM ( 18 minutes ago )
World Bank, IMF heads urge US, China to play by trade rules
World Bank, IMF heads urge US, China to play by rules, fix, not break world trade system
1:03AM ( 24 minutes ago )
Michael offers exposure, and risk, to Gillum in gov's race
Hurricane Michael whirled into the Florida governor's race days before it came ashore, and one of the beneficiaries could be Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, the Democratic nominee
12:58AM ( 29 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
New Tokyo fish market starts traditionally with tuna auction
Tokyo's famous fish market has reopened at a new location but with an old tradition: the tuna auction
10:52PM ( 2 hours ago )
Trump campaigns in Pennsylvania as hurricane pounds Florida
President Donald Trump rallies Republicans in Pennsylvania as Hurricane Michael pounds Florida's Panhandle
10:46PM ( 2 hours ago )
World Bank head says trade tensions could worsen poverty
World Bank head says trade tensions could undo global progress toward ending extreme poverty
10:30PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Business
Dow industrials sink 831 points as tech companies plunge
Stocks take their worst loss in eight months as US indexes slide for the fifth day in a row, led by drops in big technology companies
7:42PM ( 5 hours ago )
Markets Right Now: White House downplays market plunge
White House says there is no reason for concern after U.S. stocks suffered their worst loss in eight months Wednesday.
6:20PM ( 7 hours ago )
Trump signs bills to help patients stop overpaying for drugs
President Donald Trump has signed into law two bills that would allow pharmacists to tell consumers when paying cash would be cheaper than using insurance
5:10PM ( 8 hours ago )
AP Business - Economy
The Latest: Hurricane damage extensive in Panama City
Hurricane Michael has left extensive damage in Panama City, with broken and uprooted trees and power lines down nearly everywhere
7:27PM ( 6 hours ago )
The Latest: Florida governor sends search and rescue teams
Florida Gov. Rick Scott says search and rescue teams are heading into the state's hardest-hit areas to help survivors of Hurricane Michael
7:27PM ( 6 hours ago )
The Latest: Trump says Fed 'has gone crazy' after stock drop
President Donald Trump says the Federal Reserve "has gone crazy" after a major drop in stock prices Wednesday
5:46PM ( 7 hours ago )
AP Business - Industries
China promises not to weaken yuan, criticizes US concern
China promises not to weaken currency to boost exports, rejects US concern as irresponsible
1:52PM ( 1 day ago )
World stocks slide after IMF trims economic outlook
World stocks mixed as IMF trims economic outlook with rising interest rates, trade tensions
7:40AM ( 1 day ago )
World stocks mixed after IMF trims economic outlook
World stocks mixed as IMF trims economic outlook with rising interest rates, trade tensions
5:06AM ( 1 day ago )
AP Business - Financial Services
Michael charges into Southeast after slamming north Florida
A weakened Michael smashes across the Southeast after crashing ashore and leaving wide destruction in parts of the Florida Panhandle; at least one death
1:10AM ( 18 minutes ago )
Michael offers exposure, and risk, to Gillum in gov's race
Hurricane Michael whirled into the Florida governor's race days before it came ashore, and one of the beneficiaries could be Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, the Democratic nominee
12:58AM ( 29 minutes ago )
Losses on Wall Street ripple through Asia; stocks slump
Asian markets are broadly lower after Wall Street slumped on a heavy selling of technology and internet stocks
12:45AM ( 42 minutes ago )
Trump prays for hurricane victims, criticizes Democrats
In Pennsylvania for a rally, Trump offers thoughts and prayers for hurricane victims and sharp criticism for Democrats
12:26AM ( 1 hour ago )
Senate vote on health care likely fodder for both parties
Candidates in both parties likely to point to latest Senate vote on health care in effort to gain votes
12:23AM ( 1 hour ago )