IMF / US TARIFFS ECB UKRAINE

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ENGLISH 08-Mar-2018 00:02:32
The IMF hopes that the US and its trading partners can avoid a trade war as the Trump Administration says it is preparing import tariffs on steel and aluminum, spokesman Gerry Rice told reporters today (08 Mar) in Washington. IMF
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STORY: IMF / US TARIFFS ECB UKRAINE
TRT: 2.42
SOURCE: IMF
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 08 MARCH 2018, WASHINGTON, DC

SHOTLIST:

RECENT – WASHINGTON, DC

1.Wide shot, exterior IMF building

08 MARCH 2018, WASHINGTON, DC

2. Med shot, Walk-up news conference
3. Cutaway, reporters cutaway
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Gerry Rice, Spokesman, International Monetary Fund (IMF):
“While the U.S. administration has announced its intention to impose import tariffs on steel and aluminum a formal adoption of such tariffs is still pending, and I think that's important to say because in that context, you know, it's going to be very important to learn the details of such a measure, including, you know, the scope of the products affected, whether any training partners would be exempt, and whether there might be some flexibility in either the use of tariffs or import quotas.”
5. Cutaway, reporter
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Gerry Rice, Spokesman, International Monetary Fund (IMF):
“I mentioned that the Managing Director had commented and she said just the other day in a trade war no one wins. And, you know, I think, again, in that spirit we encourage the U.S. and its trading partners to work constructively together, to reduce trade barriers, and to resolve trade disagreements without resorting to exceptional measures.”
7. Med shot, presser
8. Cutaway, reporter
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Gerry Rice, Spokesman, International Monetary Fund (IMF):
“The ECB has again underlined its commitment to maintaining strong monetary accommodation. Rates will remain low, well past the horizon of net asset purchases, and net purchases can be extended beyond September if necessary. The decision today to drop an explicit reference to possible future increases in the monthly pace of the ECB’s net asset purchases reflects an improving balance of risks. So, we are supportive of the ECB decision today.”
10. Cutaway, Reporter
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Gerry Rice, Spokesman, International Monetary Fund (IMF):
“Further progress needs to be made on delayed measures that are necessary to achieve the program objectives, including in the energy sector and fiscal policy, as well as I just mentioned the anti-corruption efforts. So what I can tell you is that these discussions are continuing and will continue in the coming weeks.”

RECENT – WASHINGTON, DC

12. Wide shot, exterior IMF

STORYLINE:

The IMF hopes that the US and its trading partners can avoid a trade war as the Trump Administration says it is preparing import tariffs on steel and aluminum, spokesman Gerry Rice told reporters today (08 Mar) in Washington.

He said, “While the U.S. administration has announced its intention to impose import tariffs on steel and aluminum a formal adoption of such tariffs is still pending, and I think that's important to say because in that context, it's going to be very important to learn the details of such a measure, including, the scope of the products affected, whether any training partners would be exempt, and whether there might be some flexibility in either the use of tariffs or import quotas.”

Rice pointed to comments made this week by IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde urging the US and its partners to work out disputes through the WTO and multilateral frameworks rather than taking unilateral actions.

“In a ‘trade war’ that would be fueled by a reciprocal increase in tariffs, no one wins. There are usually losers on both sides,” IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said in a radio interview Tuesday.

Rice added, “In that spirit we encourage the U.S. and its trading partners to work constructively together, to reduce trade barriers, and to resolve trade disagreements without resorting to exceptional measures.”

The IMF also welcomes the ECB (European Central Bank) decision to keep interest rates at their current levels, but with the goal of dropping its easing bias, said Rice.

The IMF spokesperson also said, “The ECB has again underlined its commitment to maintaining strong monetary accommodation. Rates will remain low, well past the horizon of net asset purchases, and net purchases can be extended beyond September if necessary.”

“The decision today to drop an explicit reference to possible future increases in the monthly pace of the ECB’s net asset purchases reflects an improving balance of risks,” he added. “So, we are supportive of the ECB decision today.”

And the IMF remains in active dialogue with Ukrainian authorities, but no date has been set for the next review mission or board discussion, Rice told reporters.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko told the Financial Times this week in an interview that international donors should not push too hard on reforms in his country such as setting up an independent anti-corruption court.

The IMF has set out a framework of reform measures that must be addressed before it can release the next $1.9 billion USD of financial support to Kiev.

A small staff team from the IMF was in Kiev to hold discussions with Ukraine officials in February and no date has yet been set for a follow-up.
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