'US fiscal and trade policies creating risks for world economy'
Washington DC: President Donald Trump's aggressive trade policies, and expansive tax cut at a time when the US economy is growing, are creating risks that could damage the domestic and global economies, the International Monetary Fund warned on Friday. The tax cuts will generate a near-term boost to growth but also "will elevate the risks to the US and global economy," and increase the size of those risks, the IMF said in its annual review of the US economy.
Meanwhile, the punitive import duties the US has imposed and threatened could harm the world economic recovery by "catalyzing a cycle of retaliatory responses" and interrupting global supply chains, the report said. On the eve of an expected White House announcement of the list of perhaps USD 50 billion in Chinese goods that will be hit with 25 percent tariffs, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde said trade wars had no winners.
If there is tit-for-tat retaliation from US trading partners, which they have threatened, there will be "losers on both sides," Lagarde told reporters. And that outcome would have a "serious" economic impact on the United States and global economies, she said, including by causing inflation to accelerate.
While the direct economic impact is hard to calculate since it will depend on the size and timing of the responses, trade conflict could undermine confidence and cause businesses to hold off on investments, of which there already were signs in Europe, she said.