×

Markets will be 'disappointed' by Trump's policies: former IMF Deputy Managing Director Zhu Min

President Donald Trump's promise of pro-growth policies of tax reform and stimulus, which saw widespread optimism in global markets since November, will likely turn out to be a disappointment, the former deputy managing director of IMF told CNBC.

Zhu Min, who is currently President at the National Institute of Financial Research, spoke to CNBC at the sidelines of the Boao Forum in the Hainan Province, China.

He pointed out Trump's planned policies including the implementation of a border tax, the repeal and replacement of parts of the Affordable Care Act, infrastructure investments and tax reforms could face a long list of difficulties.

"If you're looking for what we heard just two months ago, and what we thought today right, you will see number one, (for) the border tax, the probability (of implementation) is very low ... which is a big deal," Zhu said.

He added infrastructure investments needed plenty of technical preparations, while the tax reform could face political and technical difficulties; details on both have been sparse from the administration.

Meanwhile, the administration has already seen difficulties in reforming healthcare. Republican lawmakers have struggled to rally enough support to pass a bill in the House of Representatives, to repeal and replace parts of the Affordable Care Act.

The snag in passing health care reforms already saw markets stumble from their rally, as investors reassessed their optimism and assets like the dollar and bond yields saw some volatility.

"I think the market (was) a little bit over-optimistic. I think the market will be disappointed," Zhu said, adding even if some of the reforms were to pass, the effects on the real economy will unlikely be felt this year.

"The real concern for me is the volatility caused by Mr. Trump's policies."

Zhu Min looks on during the 'Future-Proofing Global Finance' panel session at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016.
Jason Alden | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Zhu Min looks on during the 'Future-Proofing Global Finance' panel session at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016.

Even then, Zhu implied Trump's economic growth targets are potentially unrealistic, pointing out that U.S. potential growth rate is currently around 2 percent. Earlier this year, reports said the Trump transition team had ordered Council of Economic Advisers staffers to predict a sustained gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 3 percent to 3.5 percent.

"If you get that level (of GDP growth), you need a huge (amount) of stimulus. It's not a few percentage of GDP deficit, it's huge. They need a lot of policy, it's not easy," he said, adding this could add to the volatility seen currently in markets.

The former IMF deputy also stressed the importance of strengthening international institutions like the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank and said the world recognizes the need to move forward with globalization.

On China, Zhu said he expects economic growth to remain stable and added that the yuan likely will not have any further depreciation pressures. But the financial sector remains a concern, particularly the debt-ridden state-owned enterprises.