Treasury Sec. Mnuchin eyeing trip to China for trade talks

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Secretary Mnuchin's remarks came as finance ministers and central bankers at the International Monetary Fund meetings gave their latest economic assessments, often citing trade as a threat looming over the strongest upswing in seven years. "We call on International Monetary Fund and World Bank management to develop a joint "action plan" on debt transparency and sustainability to guide future work, ensure strong coordination between institutions, and boost visibility around these efforts", Mnuchin said.

He called for the realignment of quota shares of emerging market and developing economies (EMDEs) whose under-representation has increased further by 0.5 percentage points in the last update leading to underrepresentation of EMDEs by 7.5 per cent.

"We are going to continue the sanctions" and a "maximum pressure" campaign until North Korea abandons its nuclear-weapons program in a verifiable way, he said.

The IMF's policymaking committee said on Saturday that a strong world economy was threatened by increasing tension over trade and countries' heavy debt burden.

In his remarks, Secretary Mnuchin also mentioned Mainland China's acquisitions of USA intellectual property as one of the Trump administration's main concerns related to the global growth perspective.

The words in the air are that US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is considering a trip to China to moderate/mitigate a trade dispute with Beijing.

Global cooperation "has served us so well and delivered more progress for more people than at any time in history", but is now being questioned, Lagarde said.

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In a statement on Saturday to the International Monetary and Financial Committee, Yi said China would "vigorously" push forward the reform and opening of its financial sector, significantly relax market access restrictions, create a more attractive investment environment, strengthen the protection of intellectual properties, and actively expand imports. The row, which comes as the world economy records its strongest growth in years, cast a pall over the semi-annual gathering of the world's finance officials.

The statement reflects the Trump administration's view that the International Monetary Fund, through its country surveillance and policy advocacy efforts, can help rein in what are seen as China's trade abuses.

The IMFC said it will continue to use all policy tools to achieve strong, sustainable, balanced, inclusive, and job-rich growth.

Mnuchin has said that the administration's imposition of tariffs is part of a strategy to level the playing field on trade and reduce America's huge trade deficits with China and other nations. Moscow is seeking "clarification" on USA sanctions, Mnuchin said, without elaborating.

Regarding trade with Japan, Mnuchin said the Trump administration wants a bilateral trade agreement and has had discussions with Tokyo about such talks.

China has responded by threatening to tax US soybeans and other products. Next it proposed tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese products to sanction Beijing for its aggressive efforts to obtain USA technology.

While the meeting with Yi did not focus on trade with China, Mnuchin said he remains "cautiously optimistic" about the issue.

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