The International Monetary Fund (IMF) needs to take action to tackle major external imbalances, demand the removal of trade barriers and the protection of intellectual property rights, according to the US Finance Minister Steven Mnuchin. In a statement to the IMF Steering Committee on Saturday, he said that countries that have large and sustainable external surpluses should do more.
“The IMF has to address this issue by giving more visibility and constantly observing when members maintain macroeconomic, monetary and trade policies that facilitate unfair competition or lead to unbalanced growth”, said Steven Mnuchin.
The intellectual property issue contained in his statement follows US threats to impose duties on Chinese commodities due to allegations that Beijing has appropriated US intellectual property through various industrial policies.
“We firmly believe that unfair commercial practices worldwide are hampering stronger growth in the US and globally, acting as a lasting resistance to the world economy,”, said also Steven Mnuchin. He stressed that ensuring that trade is free, fair and reciprocal will stimulate world trade and support stronger and more sustainable growth.
Mnuchin’s comments lay bare the differences between the Trump administration and the IMF at a time when policy makers are trying to stave off a trade war between the U.S. and China. America and the U.K. played leading roles in creating the fund during the Second World War to oversee the global monetary system and steer countries away from the beggar-thy-neighbor policies that took root during the Great Depression.