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USA representatives took a strong line at the International Monetary Fund spring meetings over the weekend, the Financial Times reports, insisting that large surpluses in countries like China and Germany be scaled back.

"I am not going to make any comment on timing, nor do I have anything confirmed, but a trip is under consideration", he continued. On Tuesday the IMF's economic outlook report predicts short-term global growth to 3.9%, it highlights debt levels, trade policies, decreased labor participation and aging populations as risks to long-term growth.

A trip by the US Treasury secretary to China could signal a breakthrough in the spat between the world's two biggest economies, which have threatened to slap tariffs on each other. "We call on the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group to work together on a multi-pronged work programme to enhance debt transparency and sustainability and address LIDCs debt vulnerabilities", it said. IMF Managing Christine Lagarde warned this week that a U.S.

"The larger threat is posed by increasing trade tensions and the possibility that we enter a sequence of unilateral, tit-for-tat measures, all of which generate uncertainties for global trade and GDP growth", Roberto Azevêdo, director-general of the World Trade Organization, told the IMF's policy committee. "We call on the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group to work together on a multi-pronged work programme to enhance debt transparency and sustainability and address LICs debt vulnerabilities", the statement said.

"I did meet with the Chinese here". The discussions focused on issues related to the Chinese central bank, not trade.

Finance officials from member governments will discuss the trade disputes this week during the Washington meetings, which end Saturday.

Beijing announced last week that it would gradually eliminate ownership caps on foreign manufacturers of vehicles, aircraft and ships.

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Japan wants the U.S. to rejoin the multilateral Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact, as it fears opening talks for a bilateral free trade agreement could put it under pressure to open up politically sensitive markets like agriculture. Each has proposed imposing tariffs of $50 billion on each other's products; President Donald Trump is looking to impose tariffs up to $100 billion more on Chinese goods. China counterpunched by targeting $50 billion in US exports. "It's been going on, on an industrial scale, over many years and we've been targets of it just as the USA has". Next it proposed tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese products to sanction Beijing for its aggressive efforts to obtain USA technology. "If Trump can help change China’s behavior, there is room for Japan to benefit".

"That being said, India does have room to expand its export orientation and to reduce further trade and non-trade barriers", he added.

Mnuchin said China has been "very helpful" in supporting United States sanctions against North Korea, and he welcomed Kim's suspension of nuclear testing that was announced less than a day earlier.

"Observing that strong fundamentals, sound policies, and a resilient worldwide monetary system (IMS) are essential to the stability of exchange rates, contributing to strong and sustainable growth and investment, the IMFC said flexible exchange rates, where feasible, can serve as a shock absorber".

"I hope it is a negotiating strategy".

But on Saturday, Mnuchin said the United States had dropped its opposition and would support the increase as part of a package of lending reforms.