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

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European G7 officials complain that no-one knows what the USA means by "fair trade" and that the only way to establish fairness was by sticking to the rules of the World Trade Organisation - a multilateral framework.

G7 finance ministers and representatives of central banks met in Bari, Italy, on Friday and Saturday.

Mnuchin said his meetings with finance leaders had led to better understanding of the US president's position that trade must be fair and balanced as well as open.

Finance ministers from the G7 club of rich countries committed to greater coordination in facing the rising threat of worldwide cyberattacks in a joint statement Saturday.

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And again, we have to get back to working our country properly so that we can take care of the problems that we have". Trump said the issue is dividing the country and he wanted to get to work running the country. "Everybody thinks so.

"People are much more comfortable today now that they've had the opportunity to spend time with me and listen to the president and listen to the economic message on what the economic agenda is, and that's about creating growth in the United States", Mnuchin told reporters after the meeting. Still, both he and Mnuchin stressed how important the U.S.

Aso told reporters that he has come to see that Trump's trade policy - widely viewed as protectionist - is no different from previous administrations in favor of free trade. He also said the administration had held "preliminary but productive discussions" with the Canadian and Mexican governments on Nafta.

When asked if G7 ministers were concerned about the potential for United States of America tax reform to cause the income gap to widen, Secretary Mnuchin said, "Reductions in the highest tax rates will be offset by reductions in deductions".

Almost a decade after a financial crisis ripped through the global economy, G-7 officials said they are wary of another big threat to growth. Monetary policy should continue to support the economy, they said, while recognizing the world faces a prolonged period of modest growth and rising inequality.

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That's according to the panel's chairman, Republican Sen. "But we'll figure out on General Flynn what the next step-if any-is". That process could take years due to procedure, Politico reports.

The G7 meeting, gathering financial leaders from the world's seven developed economies, run from May 11 to May 13 in the southern Italian city of Bari.

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.

The US refused to abandon its protectionist stance as the G7 - composed of the US, Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Canada - continued to wrangle over a common trade policy.

Italy's Minister of Economy and Finance Pier Carlo Padoan said there was agreement that trade is a "fundamentally positive situation we want to maintain and cultivate going forward".

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Still, a final agreement issued by G7 ministers on Saturday said officials were "working to strengthen the contribution of trade to our economies" - a far weaker pledge than last year's statement from the Group of 20 leaders to disavow any signs of protectionism.

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