In two days of meetings in the German town of Baden-Baden, the argument by U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, in his first appearance at an worldwide forum in the role, reflects claims by President Donald Trump that his nation has had a bad deal from the current global trade setup. Indeed, the U.S. delegation led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin stood its ground against enormous pressure from other G20 states.
German Finance Minster Wolfgang Schaeuble, who met with Mnuchin in Berlin before the Baden Baden meeting, said consensus could not be reached on the meaning of protectionism.
"Right now I would say the negotiators for Germany have done a far better job than the negotiators for the US", Mr Trump said. "As highlighted in our discussion at the G20 High Level Tax Symposium, we emphasize the effectiveness of tax policy tools in supply-side structural reform for promoting innovation-driven, inclusive growth, as well as the benefits of tax certainty to promote investment and trade".
U.S Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin dismissed the previous communiqué as possibly irrelevant for the current global economic climate.
The United States on Saturday challenged long-standing global principles surrounding free trade, refusing to renew past anti-protectionist pledges and threatening to reopen negotiations on World Trade Organization deals. The finance ministers' meeting will pave the way for a July 7-8 summit of national leaders in Hamburg, Germany.
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"That's why I think we can do good business together", Aso told reporters.
The "Group of 20", commonly abbreviated as G20, includes 19 countries and the European Union, which represent a majority of the global economy.
G20 finance ministers will probably remove any mention of trade in the final communique as Trump's team pushes for language on fair trade and others stick to the open trade mantra.
Mnuchin agreed to numerous meetings as he said he wanted to develop more relationships with his foreign counterparts.
G-20 financial leaders broke with longstanding tradition over the weekend by failing to renew a commitment to resist all forms of protectionism. "He is very constructive and talking about good relationships with all of his worldwide counterparts".