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Economic Czars Warn G-20 of Risk From Populist Backlash on Trade

  • IMF, WTO, OECD leaders in Hangzhou speak on free-trade concern
  • BRICS leaders expressed worries about increasing protectionism
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G-20 Remains a Vital Forum for Debate, Says Komileva

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Global economic leaders stepped up warnings that the populist mood sweeping many developed nations is a threat to trade and growth, calling from the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit for governments and businesses to fight to keep goods flowing across borders.

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde urged corporate chiefs to lobby governments to keep trade flows up as she cautioned about the outlook for growth into 2017. Her comments on Saturday in Hangzhou, China, were echoed by World Trade Organization Director-General Roberto Azevedo, while Canadian Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland said it’s right to worry about protectionist sentiment.