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China on Sunday said it welcomed plans by top US officials to visit the country to discuss trade and economic issues, amid tensions between the world's two largest economies.

"A trip is under consideration", Mnuchin told reporters on Saturday in Washington at the IMF's spring meetings. Those meetings will conclude on Saturday.

-China trade war. And the Federal Reserve is steadily ratcheting up USA interest rates from the record low levels where it kept them for most of the decade since the 2008 financial crisis. "Unilateral trade restrictions will only inflict harm on the global economy".

The statement reflects the Trump administration's view that the International Monetary Fund, through its country surveillance and policy advocacy efforts, can help rein in what are seen as China's trade abuses. But they agreed on the importance of coordinating other economic policies in an effort to sustain the strongest global economic expansion since the 2008 financial crisis.

The row, which comes as the world economy records its strongest growth in years, cast a pall over the semi-annual gathering of the world's finance officials.

"My feeling is that, little by little, the consciousness of the damage a trade war could do will be apparent and dialogue will resume", he told AFP on the sidelines of the meeting. Markets have been volatile, partly because investors are rattled by the prospect of a U.S. Last month, it slapped taxes on imported steel and aluminum. The discussions focused on issues related to the Chinese central bank, not trade. China countered by targeting $50bn in USA exports. Trump then ordered his trade representative to target up to $100 billion more in Chinese products.

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He called on the International Monetary Fund to go beyond its traditional role as an emergency lender for countries in financial crisis and strengthen its monitoring role of individual country's trade practices, especially nations running large trade surpluses. He said they also discussed China's planned further opening of some markets, a move that U.S. has encouraged and "appreciated". He said the United States welcomes the IMF's new initiative, the External Sector Report, which is the Fund's assessment of global currency valuations and FX rate correlations. "Equally, I think when you look at China's policy stands - also what the Europeans might do if there are any measures targeting China, I think we can expect to see retaliation, and that's where the trade war scenario really begins to potentially become a real one".

"What is extraordinarily meaningful is the questioning of the overall system under which operators have been operating in for decades", IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said on Thursday at a news conference. One of the concerns about a trade war is it wouldn't just involve the United States and China, but it would inevitably drag in other countries as well and they'd be caught up in the crossfire between the USA and China.

Mnuchin said that there was "no indication" that global trade imbalances are narrowing and called for economies with large ongoing external surpluses to "carry their share of the adjustment".

The outlook cites growing trade volumes and solid investment as driving the uptick in global growth to 3.9 percent this year and next.

Heightened growth is helping to spur increased business investment, create much-needed private sector jobs, and expand economic opportunities for many around the world, he said.

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