IMF chief Lagarde tapped to lead European Central Bank

IMF chief Lagarde tapped to lead European Central Bank
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European leaders Tuesday nominated International Monetary Fund Director Christine Lagarde to be the next president of the European Central Bank (ECB).

European Commission President Donald Tusk announced Tuesday that Lagarde was chosen by EU officials to replace current ECB President Mario Draghi, whose term ends on Oct. 31.

Largarde's nomination is subject to approval by the European Council, a group of 28 European heads of state. If confirmed, Largarde would be the first woman to lead the ECB since its formation in 1998.

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Lagarde said in a Tuesday tweet that she is “honored to have been nominated for the @ECB Presidency” and would “temporarily relinquish my responsibilities” as IMF managing director during the nomination process.

Lagarde has directed the IMF since 2011, taking the helm of the international lender as the global economy struggled to rebuild after the 2008 recession. She led the French government’s Ministries of the Economy, Finance and Industry; Agriculture and Fishing; and Commerce before joining the IMF.

As ECB president, Lagarde would be tasked with managing monetary policy for 19 Eurozone nations as the continent faces a slowing economy and trade tensions with the U.S.

President TrumpDonald John Trump Former US ambassador: 'Denmark is not a big fan of Donald Trump and his politics' Senate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Detroit county sheriff endorses Booker for president MORE has threatened to impose tariffs on all autos imported to the U.S., which could pose a devastating blow to an already fading European economy. Trump has also grown frustrated with the ECB for pledging stimulus, which the president considers unfair interference in trade talks.

Trump has long called on the Federal Reserve to cut rates, which would stimulate the economy and lower the value of the dollar. A weaker dollar makes U.S. exports relatively cheaper for foreign buyers, which could help narrow the U.S. trade deficit loathed by Trump. 

Draghi drew fire from Trump last month when he announced that the ECB could soon cut interest rates if the European economy continues to slow. His comments forced the value of the euro to fall against the dollar, prompting Trump to blast him for “making it unfairly easier” for European exporters to outsell U.S. rivals.

Trump later joked in an interview with NBC that the U.S. “should have Draghi instead of our Fed person” after threatening to fire Fed Chairman Jerome Powell. The president likely lacks the legal authority to fire Powell over policy differences.