IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde smiles during a discussion about "The Economic Imperative of Empowering Women" at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC, March 7, 2017. / AFP / Nicholas Kamm
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The International Monetary Fund Tuesday called on the group of 20 major economies to work together to preserve the benefits of trade and avoid protectionism, while also urging them to reduce external imbalances and halt policies that distort global trade. Under pressure from rising protectionist sentiment in many advanced economies, including the United States, the IMF said that international cooperation was needed to maintain trade as an engine of growth that has lifted millions out of poverty worldwide.Despite the IMF's concern over reversions to nationalist economic policies, the IMF said that the global economic outlook was improving, thanks in part to an upturn in global manufacturing and trade flows.The IMF's outlook assumes there is no major disruption in trade that could be brought about by protectionist policies.
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