Unfair trade practices impede US, global growth: US Treasury's Steven Mnuchin

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Those meetings will conclude on Saturday.

Other nations used this week's meetings to sound misgivings about the tough turn in US trade policy. "We strongly reject moves towards protectionism and away from the rules-based worldwide trade order", said Már Guðmundsson, governor of the Central Bank of Iceland.

The countries struggled to find common ground with Washington over trade.

"We have to keep this group working together", said Nicolas Dujovne, the Treasury minister of Argentina.

Tensions between the world's two largest economies have cast a shadow over this week's gathering of finance ministers, given concerns a trade war would undercut the global recovery.

Dujovne, whose country is chairing the G-20 this year, met with reporters Friday to summarize talks the G-20 finance officials had held as a prelude to the IMF-World Bank meetings.

The United States was represented at the talks by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, who was attending his first G-20 gathering after taking over the top Fed job from Janet Yellen in February.

The IMF's governing committee in a statement at the conclusion of the ministerial meeting highlighted the risks presented by "increasing trade and geopolitical tensions".

The administration has rattled financial markets with a series of provocative moves in recent weeks.

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US President Donald Trump recently imposed tariffs on imports of steel and aluminium from most countries, and has continually railed against China's export surplus.

But an intensifying dispute between the USA and China over Beijing's aggressive attempt to challenge US technological dominance has raised the prospect of a trade war that could drag down worldwide growth. China has responded by threatening to tax US soybeans and other products. Trump then ordered his trade representative to target up to $100 billion more in Chinese products.

He urged the International Monetary Fund to go beyond its traditional role as an emergency lender for countries in financial distress and said it should more closely monitor the practices of countries that persistently run large trade surpluses.

While the meeting with Yi did not focus on trade with China, Mnuchin said he remains "cautiously optimistic" about the issue.

"I look at this as a package transaction. we support a capital increase on the World Bank along with the associated reforms that they're talking about making", Mnuchin said, adding that he was hopeful Congress would approve the increase.

Aggregate growth in emerging market and developing economies was projected to firm up further, the International Monetary Fund said, with continued strong growth in emerging Asia and a modest upswing in commodity exporters after three years of weak performance.

The IMF projects global growth of 3.9 percent this year and next but warns that the risks are tilted to the downside.

"China will vigorously push forward the reform and opening-up of the financial sector, significantly relax market access restrictions, create a more attractive investment environment, strengthen the protection of intellectual properties and actively expand imports", Yi said.

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