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IMF chief Lagarde touts the economic reforms that Trump has been trying to deliver

  • The U.S. needs to reform its tax system, invest in infrastructure, overhaul its immigration policies and cut regulations, says Lagarde.
  • When asked if she's a fan of President Trump, however, Lagarde says, "I'm not a fan of any particular initial proposals."
  • The IMF plans to upgrade its outlook for global economic growth when it releases its latest forecasts next week, she says.

The United States needs to reform its tax system, invest in infrastructure programs, overhaul its immigration policies and cut business regulations, said Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund.

Lagarde's list seems to align with the priorities of President Donald Trump who was elected on pushing U.S.-first policies rather than the global approach advocated by the IMF.

When asked if she's a fan of Trump, however, Lagarde said: "I'm not a fan of anybody. And I'm not a fan of any particular initial proposals. We want to see the details."

The IMF plans to upgrade its outlook for global economic growth when it releases its latest forecasts next week, she said.

In an interview that aired Friday on "Squawk on the Street," Lagarde said the strength is coming from about 75 percent of the economies around the world. "In other words, it's not one country that's leading the charge. It's not only the emerging market economies that used to be the case. It's Europe. It's the United States. It's Japan. And it's China of course and India, plus a few other countries."

In July, the IMF predicted global growth would hit 3.6 percent in 2018, which would be the fastest clip since 2011.

Lagarde did cite growing "debt around the world" as a concern, saying debt of all kinds — both public and private — has gone up since the 2008 financial crisis.

Budget-neutral tax reform

One of the areas that, Lagarde said, would help boost U.S. growth is tax reform.

"We have said regularly, and very strongly in the last review of the U.S. economy, that tax reform is a must. Tax reform in the U.S. is an imperative," she said. "It has to be simpler. It has to be a lower corporate rate. It has to eliminate all the exemptions ... that make the system so complicated. It has to be focused on improving the situation of the middle class. It has to be conducive to more labor."

Republicans last week unveiled their blueprint for cutting personal and corporate tax rates and simplifying the U.S. tax code.

Lagarde said: "It should be budget neutral. It should not increase the deficit. It should not drive to more debt in the future."

Despite skepticism from critics, the White House and GOP leaders on Capitol Hill said their tax plan would boost economic growth and therefore pay for itself.

"Ideally it would be good," Lagarde said, but she argued that "it's impossible to model the outcome" without more details. "It's too embryonic at the moment. And it's not gone through the legislative process ... which will add complexity, will be subject to lobbying forces," she added.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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