International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde on Wednesday issued a stern warning to governments to avoid undermining global growth with protectionist trade policies.

In a less than thinly-veiled warning to US President Donald Trump, who has locked horns with China on trade, the head of the IMF said governments “need to steer clear of protectionism in all its forms.”

The multilateral trade system has “helped reduce by half the proportion of the global population living in extreme poverty,” while barriers prevent trade from “playing its essential role in boosting productivity.”