Japan Aso says gradually seeing the course of USA policies

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British Finance Minister Philip Hammond attended the G7 meeting in Bari, Italy yesterdau and emphasised the need for the United Kingdom to have a strong voice in global councils and in the Brexit negotiations.

"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.

The call was made in a statement issued at end of the two-day summit of G-7 foreign ministers in Bari, Italy today. A U.S. Treasury spokesman said Mnuchin will brief his counterparts in Bari on the Trump administration's still-emerging plans to revamp the U.S. tax system - with major cuts for businesses - and ease regulatory burdens.Reflecting tensions over Trump's attitude to protectionism, there will be no formal discussion of trade in Bari, Italian Treasury officials said.

This meeting helps lay the foundation for the G7 meeting of global leaders that will take place later this month in which President Trump will attend.

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After the meeting, officials from Japan and member European countries remained concerned about the economic shift in Washington, particularly after Mnuchin said the US reserved the right to be protectionist if it thought trade was not free or fair.

Mnuchin was not present at the early Friday session of the G7 meeting, joining his colleagues later and holding bilateral talks with his Italian, German and Japanese colleagues, among others. While holding firm on that despite attempts to persuade him to give ground, Mnuchin said his colleagues were gaining a better understanding of what President Trump's policies mean for the USA and the rest of the world.

They include faster-than-expected USA interest rate increases, which could affect some developing economies by triggering an outflow of capital and investment, and China's reliance on excessively rapid credit expansion for growth.

They also vowed to cooperate more against cyber crime, finance the global anti-terror fight, and promote a fair tax system including digital economy.

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In the final communique, the ministers and governors only mentioned that they were "working to strengthen the contribution of trade to our economies".

That divergence augurs for potential disagreements when the nations' leaders gather in Sicily later this month - an event which marks Trump's first major global summit as U.S. President.

But despite fear of restrictive trade practices under the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump, the G-7 statement, issued after a meeting in southern Italy, skipped any explicit wording on protectionism, as did the finance chief's statement of the Group of 20 economies at their gathering in March.

G-7 governments-Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the USA -have struggled to turn their concern for inclusive growth into policy action, however.

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