Finance

Steven Mnuchin at G7: 'We don't want to be protectionist'

Steven Mnuchin at G7: 'We don't want to be protectionist'

International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde arrives for the opening session of the G7 of Finance ministers in Bari, southern Italy, Friday, May 12, 2017.

Recalling his discussions with Mnuchin and other G-7 counterparts, Aso said he thinks Mnuchin "has mostly erased concern that (the new USA administration) may transform free trade into protectionism".

Steven Mnuchin's third encounter with the worldwide community, at a meeting of finance chiefs in Italy, deepened ties even as his government's "America First" policy continues to challenge the global economic consensus.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is expected to brief his counterparts on his administration's preferred tax and trade policy.

Trump has proposed slashing the US corporate income tax rate and offer multinational businesses a steep tax break on overseas profits brought back to the U.S. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a group representing many advanced economies, has urged the U.S.to lower its corporate tax rate. "We are working to strengthen the contribution of trade to our economies", the G7 communique read.

G7 members have said they want a better sense of the plans of US President Donald Trump, who has threatened to upset the worldwide consensus of recent decades on issues such as trade and rules for the financial services industry.

Trump has already pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and wants to re-negotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

"To the extent people had patched their networks, this would have been prevented", said Mr. Mnuchin.

Trump to meet French President-elect in May
FILE - A job seeker speaks to a clerk at an Employment Center in Marseille, southern France, Feb. 24, 2015. Macron won the presidency on Sunday and his new party has begun picking candidates for the June vote.

While noting "global recovery is gaining momentum", the communique said the world economy is facing "high and rising inequalities, notably within many countries and affecting in particular middle and lower income earners".

Their meeting paves the way for a gathering of national leaders, including US President Donald Trump, in Sicily on May 26-26.

"On some very important points, we see there is a desire for continuity, a desire to work with the G-7 and G-20 partners", French Finance Minister Michel Sapin said in a Bloomberg Television interview.

They also called for a renewed common effort against cybercrime.

The finance ministers and central bank governors from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States also pledged to use all policy tools - monetary, fiscal and structural; individually and collectively - to promote sustainable and inclusive growth.

"All the six others. said explicitly, and sometimes very directly, to the representatives of the USA administration that it is absolutely necessary to continue with the same spirit of global cooperation", French Finance Minister Michel Sapin told reporters.

The group's agreements, presented in the form of a final statement, aren't legally binding; instead they represent the leaders' political commitment to follow through.


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