US-China tensions 'threat' to world economy: IMF chief Christine Lagarde

US-China tensions threat to world economy: IMF chief Christine Lagarde
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The head of the International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday that fresh trade tensions between the United States and China were the main threat to the world economy.

Paris: The head of the International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday that fresh trade tensions between the United States and China were the main threat to the world economy.

"Clearly the tensions between the United States and China are the threat for the world economy," Christine Lagarde told journalists at a conference in Paris, adding that recent "rumours and tweets" made an agreement between the countries less likely.

President Donald Trump jolted global markets on Monday by threatening on Twitter that tariffs already imposed on $200 billion in Chinese exports to US would more than double to 25 per cent on Friday from their current level of 10 per cent.

Also speaking at the Paris Forum event, French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire warned about the impact of a trade war between the world's two biggest economies.

"We are following the current negotiations very closely between China and the United States and we want them to respect the principals of transparency and multilateralism," he said.

He called on the two sides to "avoid taking decisions that would threaten and would undermine global growth in the months ahead."

"Increasing tariffs is always a dead-end and a negative decision for the whole world, for the United States, for China, for the eurozone, for Europe and world growth," he said.

China said on Tuesday its top trade negotiator will visit the United States for talks with his American counterparts this week.

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