IMF says U.S.-China tariff rollbacks could improve growth outlook

FILE PHOTO: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) logo is seen outside the headquarters building in Washington, U.S.,September 4, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An interim U.S.-China trade deal that rolls back some tariffs has the potential to improve the International Monetary Fund’s baseline economic forecasts, which show the two countries’ trade war slowing global growth significantly this year, an IMF spokesman said on Thursday.

Gerry Rice, the IMF’s chief spokesman, told a regular news briefing that the fund welcomes any development that reduces trade tensions between the world’s two largest economies and rolls back tariffs, particularly if it’s part of a durable agreement.

“We see it has holding potential to improve our baseline forecast,” Rice said of an agreement to roll back tariffs. “But again we need to wait for the details.”

China’s commerce ministry said the countries have agreed to cancel tariffs in phases

Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama