Global finance leaders on Saturday dropped a sharp condemnation of trade protectionism and references to climate change from a closing statement that wrapped up the spring meetings of the 189-nation International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
This year’s meetings were dominated by a debate over how to respond to a rising tide of anti-globalization sentiment evidenced in the United States by the election of President Donald Trump, who pledged during last year’s campaign that he would reduce America’s huge trade deficits which he blamed for the loss of millions of good-paying factory jobs.
In its communique, the IMF urged nations to avoid “inward-looking policies,” but it did not include tougher language the IMF had used in an October statement in which it had called on all countries to “resist all forms of protectionism.” The new statement also dropped any mention of the threat of climate change.
Trump has threatened to impose punitive tariffs of up to 45 percent against Mexico, China and other nations he believes are competing unfairly with American workers. During his presidential campaign he called climate change a hoax.
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