In a wide-ranging interview with Bloomberg News Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait in New York on Friday that touched on topics from women’s issues to Brexit, International Monetary Fund’s managing director made it clear that politicians need to develop new ways of promoting open markets that rely on small trade deals, helping those who feel left out.
Christine Lagarde laid bare the challenges policymakers are facing in a world beset by sluggish growth and a groundswell in anti-trade sentiment. With the prospect of a global trade deal seeming like a distant hope, globalization is “clearly taking on a different form” than imagined, she said.
“A new framework has to be invented. I hope it can be proposed in a sufficiently attractive way that’s compatible with regional or bilateral agreements. I certainly hope there is not a move toward deglobalization. I equally think we have to move toward globalization that has a different face, and which is not excluding people along the way.”
Lagarde, 60, is the first woman to ever head the IMF, an organization that was conceived during WWII to promote monetary cooperation and open trade. Though she insisted she wasn’t alluding to president-elect Donald Trump, she appealed for greater attention to protecting the dignity of women, saying she hoped that “elegance dealing with people” would prevail over “low instinct and disparaging comments.”