IMF, European leaders rebuke Trump on planned tariffs

The International Monetary Fund and European leaders pushed back on March 7 against US president Donald Trump’s plan to impose steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, saying it would provoke a calamitous global trade war.

IMF chief Christine Lagarde told a European radio interviewer, “If international trade is called into question by these types of measures, it will be a transmission channel for a drop in growth, a drop in trade and it will be fearsome. In a trade war that will be fed by reciprocal increases of customs tariffs, no one wins.”

Lagarde said the IMF is “anxious” that US tariff increases not be imposed, saying, “We are urging the sides to reach agreements, hold negotiations, consultations.”

European Council President Donald Tusk rebutted Trump’s contention about trade conflicts, saying, “The truth is quite the opposite: Trade wars are bad and easy to lose. For this reason I strongly believe that now is the time for politicians on both sides of the Atlantic to act responsibly.”

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