New trade limits hurt growth, IMF head says

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde said Monday that trade disputes and tariffs are starting to dim the outlook for global growth, calling on countries to resolve their differences and overhaul global trading rules.

Lagarde, in a speech ahead of the IMF and World Bank’s annual meetings next week in Indonesia, said growth was at its highest level since 2011 but has plateaued, with fewer countries participating in the expansion.

“In July, we projected 3.9 percent global growth for 2018 and 2019. The outlook has since become less bright, as you will see from our updated forecast next week,” Lagarde said without providing new figures.

“A key issue is that rhetoric is morphing into a new reality of actual trade barriers. This is hurting not only trade itself, but also investment and manufacturing as uncertainty continues to rise,” she added.

While the United States is growing strongly because of tax cuts and easy financial conditions, there are signs of slowing in Europe and Japan, she said. China is also showing signs of growth moderation, a trend that will be exacerbated by its trade disputes with the United States, which has imposed tariffs on $250 billion worth of imports from China and is threatening duties on $267 billion more.

— Reuters

Wholesaler to settle adulterated-drug case

AmerisourceBergen Corp., one of the largest U.S. drug wholesalers, will pay $625 million to resolve civil fraud charges that include selling adulterated and unapproved drugs for cancer patients, double billing and providing kickbacks to doctors.

The settlement announced Monday by the Justice Department boosts the company’s payout to $885 million over its repackaging and distribution of pre-filled syringes that were not approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

In September 2017, the company’s Specialty Group pleaded guilty to a related misdemeanor and paid $260 million.

AmerisourceBergen did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The Chesterbrook, Pa.-based company has set aside money for the settlement.

AmerisourceBergen admitted that, for 13 years, its Medical Initiatives pharmacy in Alabama illegally shipped millions of syringes for chemotherapy patients with drugs prepared in an unsterile environment.

— Reuters

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— From news services