World finance leaders are gathering on U.S. President Donald Trump's home turf to try to nudge his still-evolving policies away from protectionism and show broad support for open trade and global integration. David Pollard reports.
UPSOT REPORTER AT PRESS CONFERENCE "Hi thanks Madame Lagarde. At these meetings, there is of course a lot of concern about the policies that the Trump administration is going to put in place ...." Tough questions for Christine Lagarde in Washington - on what many view as the issue facing global trade. The threat of protectionism. (SOUNDBITE) (English) INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND MANAGING DIRECTOR, CHRISTINE LAGARDE, SAYING: "The various contacts that I have had with the administration so far, I have every reason to believe that we will make progress ..." The IMF chief making conciliatory noises towards the US - whilst still outlining IMF concerns ... (SOUNDBITE) (English) INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND MANAGING DIRECTOR, CHRISTINE LAGARDE, SAYING: "And that implies clearly a level playing field, no use of distortive measures, and no protectionist measures going forward." For some economists, the talk may not be tough enough. Trump has pulled the US out of the Trans Pacific Partnership and threatened to label China, Japan and others as currency manipulators. Protectionism is still, they say, a very real risk - especially with - and for - the first on that list. SOUNDBITE (English) CHIEF ECONOMIST, WORLD FIRST, JEREMY COOK, SAYING: "While the currency manipulator label is not going to be put on China yet and obviously the the tariffs that that includes means we can forget about that for now, it's still an antagonistic trade environment between the US and China. Trump is a negotiator, and he's starting off by playing hard ball. If the Chinese don't want to put up with it, then a trade war looks more than likely." If perhaps less likely with Japan. This week's US visit to Tokyo setting a new model of handshake diplomacy. The US holding back the currency manipulator label there too for now. As Trump seeks out bilateral deals that fit with a policy of putting America First.