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WASHINGTON: International Monetary Fund members Saturday dropped a pledge to fight protectionism amid a split over trade policy and turned their attention to another looming threat to global economic integration: the first round of France's presidential election.Earlier in the week, the IMF had warned that protectionist policies that restrict trade could choke off improving global growth.Some officials chose to focus on the brightening global economy instead of the risks posed by the French election, new U.S. trade barriers and Britain's decision to leave the European Union, said James Boughton, a former IMF official.The French election presents free trade advocates with a third potential blow in less than a year after Britain's EU referendum and Trump's election on a platform to restrict imports and protect U.S. jobs.
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