Trade rows, debt load risk world economy

The trade tensions between the US and China risk eroding business and investor confidence even as global growth enjoys its best upswing in 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.

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.

As the midterm congressional elections approach in the United States, the Trump administration needs something eye-catching to regain support before the vote and to please giant companies like Boeing and General Motors and agricultural concerns like the American Soybean Association, said Tu Xinquan, director of the China Institute for WTO Studies at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing.

On Sunday, China's commerce ministry said it would welcome United States officials to discuss trade and economic issues.

The three days of talks will also include discussions among the Group of 20 major economies, which account for more than 80 percent of global economic output. "Finance ministers (from around the world) are gathering together".

To mitigate the growing debt concerns of LIDCs, he said the IMF, the World Bank and other global organisations must "develop and articulate a clear strategy for enhancing public debt transparency on both the debtor and creditor side". One of the concerns about a trade war is it wouldn't just involve the USA and China, but it would inevitably drag in other countries as well and they'd be caught up in the crossfire between the U.S. and China.

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Last month, it imposed taxes on imported steel and aluminum, and later proposed tariffs on $50bn in Chinese products as a punishment for Beijing's aggressive efforts to obtain USA technology. "While we have turned the corner after a decade of crisis, we agree that there are some dark clouds on the horizon, and we need collectively and individually to focus on deeper economic reforms to ensure higher, sustainable and inclusive growth", he told reporters.

"The window of opportunity remains open and should be used expeditiously to advance policies and reforms that sustain the current upswing, enhance resilience, and raise medium-term growth for the benefit of all", it said.

Finance leaders repeatedly sounded warnings about a potential trade war.

In his speech to the IMF's policy committee Saturday, Yi Gang, the head of China's central bank, said that global growth could be hurt by "an escalation of trade frictions caused by unilateral actions", an obvious reference to America's threatened tariffs against China.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said the steel and aluminium tariffs could lead to retaliation by other countries and "a significant risk that the situation could escalate".

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