IMF’s Lagarde seeks end to trade conflicts

FRANKFURT: Trade barriers put up by global powers present a challenge for every economy around the world, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde said on Wednesday,urging governments to work harder to end trade disputes. Speaking at a conference hosted by the European Central Bank (ECB) on the state of central and eastern European economies, Lagarde said all countries must work together to make global trade deliver for average citizens. “We can start by making every effort to de-escalate the current trade disputes and continue constructive dialogue,” she said. The IMF has estimated that rising tariffs will cost the global economy 0.5 per cent of its output in 2020. ECB President Mario Draghi told the conference that central and eastern Europe had been”disproportionately affected” by the disputes. But Lagarde also prodded central and eastern European countries to reform their own economies and tackle government corruption. — DPA