IMF chief: Trump-style trade policies would be 'disastrous'

The head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is warning that protectionist trade policies pushed by Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpFeinstein, Iranian foreign minister had dinner amid tensions: report The Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Harris readies a Phase 2 as she seeks to rejuvenate campaign MORE could damage the global economy.

In an interview with the Financial Times, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde warned that pulling away from global trade, as the presumptive GOP presidential nominee has advocated, could have serious repercussions.

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“I think it would be quite disastrous, actually. Well I don’t think I should say disastrous because that is an excessive word and I should refrain from excessive words,” she said. “But it would certainly have a negative impact on global growth.”

Trump has hammered on trade deals, arguing the global arrangements have been a disaster for American workers. He has vowed to pull out of trade deals like the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Trans-Pacific Partnership if the terms are not renegotiated to improve U.S. interests.

But Lagarde cautioned a protectionist stance “hurts growth, hurts inclusion and hurts people.”

The U.S. is the IMF’s biggest shareholder, and the Times said Lagarde steered clear of singling out Trump for criticism or weighing in directly on the U.S. presidential race. But it was clear she did not see eye to eye with Trump on trade.

“We have to work with all governments and all authorities but we certainly hope that whatever new government is in place in the US and whoever is elected as president will look at trade in positive terms,” she said.