Friday, 20 October, 2017

G-7 nations seek ways to make growth help more people

G7 to give unchanged message on trade, foreign exchange: official Add to ... G-7 nations seek ways to make growth help more people
Jo Caldwell | 19 May, 2017, 23:33

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.

"We are excited about USA trade policies and I think you probably saw last night we made an announcement on a hundred day economic plan with the Chinese", he said as he headed into the meeting in the town's 13th-Century fortress.

Finance ministers and central bank governors from the United States, Canada, Japan, France, Germany, Italy and Britain are meeting in the Italian city of Bari to discuss the world economy, combating terrorist funding, cyber security and taxes.

Finance ministers signaled a truce in their trade quarrel with Donald Trump's administration as his Treasury Secretary said the Group of Seven is starting to understand where he's coming from.

Finance ministers from the G7 club of rich countries committed to greater coordination in facing the rising threat of global cyberattacks in a joint statement Saturday. "We don't want to be protectionist but we reserve our rights to be protectionist to the extent we believe trade is not free and fair", he said.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said his meetings with world finance leaders have helped ease their concerns that the United States is moving to hard-edged protectionist trade policies. However, the U.S. Treasury spokesman said the issue was likely to come up in bilateral talks. After Trump's criticisms of financial regulation and trade. "'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".

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The final statement from the Bari meeting included a reference to "working to strengthen the contribution of trade to our economies", a word-for-word reproduction from March's G-20 in Baden-Baden, Germany.

"The global economy is facing a prolonged period of modest growth and high or rising inequalities in many countries, notably within countries with middle and lower income classes being particularly affected", the statement said.

The G-7 countries have called for taking steps to make the global economy work for everyone.

Trade issues are likely to be taken up at a G-7 leaders' summit on May 26 to 27 in Taormina, Sicily, that Trump will attend.

"It is important, protectionism is off the table, I think that there was no disagreement over the fact that trade promotes growth, and has to be inclusive", Italian Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan told Bloomberg Television.

A Group of Seven communique issued on Saturday said officials were "working to strengthen the contribution of trade to our economies" - a weaker pledge than the statement from the Group of 20 leaders a year ago to avoid protectionism in all its forms.

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