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

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

G7 finance ministers and central bank governors gather around a table inside the Norman-Swabian Castle, the venue of their summit in Bari, Italy.

The United States said on Saturday the world's other rich economies were getting used to the policy plans of President Donald Trump, but Europe and Japan showed they remained anxious about Washington's shift.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the United States reserved the right to be protectionist if it thought trade was not free or fair.

"The emphasis was initially on a border tax, which is taxation, but also trade policy", said Italian Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan in an interview. He said counterparts understand that "we don't want to be protectionist, but we reserve our right to be protectionist to the extent we believe trade is not free and fair".

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was in attendance and confirmed that cybersecurity would continue to be a main talking point for the world's seven most advanced economies.

"A country without any common sense continues to own extremely risky weapons", Aso said of North Korea, which has not stopped its nuclear weapons and missile development despite global criticism.

Mnuchin's presence was overshadowed by a political firestorm in Washington after Trump fired Federal Bureau of Investigation chief James Comey, whose agency was investigating links between the president's 2016 election campaign and the Russian government.

CIA sets up unit to address North Korean threat
Nixon, the former analyst, said he also expects significant cooperation with South Korean intelligence services going forward. The letter stated [Hill report], "As the U.S.

Bank of France Governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau said there was a "light breeze" of optimism within the G7 about the recovering global economy after years of sluggish growth.

During his presidential campaign, Trump charged that past administrations had failed to take a tough stand on enforcing trade agreements and this failure had cost millions of good-paying factory jobs and resulted in an enormous USA trade deficit.

"We must not back pedal on free trade as it has contributed to economic prosperity", Mr Aso said.

A senior finance ministry official added that uncertainties remain over USA policies including monetary policy but the biggest source of uncertainty lies in tax reform. That divergence augurs for potential disagreements when the nations' leaders gather in Sicily later this month - an event which marks Trump's first major worldwide summit as U.S. President.

A slew of recent announcements-including an investigation into steel imports and a warning the USA may pull out of a trade agreement with Canada and Mexico-have renewed fears the Trump administration could spark a trade war that could hit the global economy just as it appears to be gaining momentum.

He dropped, however, a controversial proposal of a "border-adjustment" tax on imports as a way to offset revenue losses resulting from tax cuts. "I am not so sure that with an economy already at full employment and working at full speed a fiscal stimulus would add a lot", European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici told reporters. "We will work to lift actual and potential growth, while ensuring that the fruits of economic growth are shared more widely", the statement said.


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