Published: Sat, March 18, 2017
Markets | By Erika Turner

G20 seeks right wording on trade, Germany's Schaeuble says

G20 seeks right wording on trade, Germany's Schaeuble says

In a visit to Berlin ahead of the G-20 meeting, Mnuchin said the interested in trade that is not only free but fair.

In a thinly disguised broadside at the new United States administration, which has signalled it intends to roll back Wall Street regulation, Mr Schaeuble said: "I'm fully aware that many of you in the room are not fans of regulation".

During the campaign, Trump said he would consider any number of economic tactics to address trade deficits, including tariffs, currency sanctions and vowing to rewrite or cancel entire trade deals, though he has yet to follow through on any of those threats in the opening weeks of his presidency.

Mnuchin arrives Friday in Baden-Baden, Germany, for a meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bankers, during his first official trip overseas. The move underscores Germany's desire to rebuff any explicit U.S. demands to water down the group's commitment to free trade, as German Chancellor Angela Merkel prepares for her first meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump on March 17.

The G-20 meeting is taking place with the global economy in relatively good shape: the International Monetary Fund predicts growth of 3.4 percent this year and 3.6 percent next year, compared with 3.1 percent last year.

"It was a good start", Schaeuble said of the meeting, adding that it was a positive sign for worldwide cooperation and the G20 process.

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BADEN BADEN, Germany Finance leaders of the world's top economies are still searching for a compromise on how to summarise their joint stance on global trade and open markets, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Friday.

His trade adviser Peter Navarro has accused Germany of benefiting from a weak euro that boosts its exports. Mnuchin agreed that a currency devaluation war must be avoided, and that forex rates should not become a policy target, Aso told reporters.

"It is different than a single currency controlled by a single country", Mnuchin said of the euro.

Negotiators from countries including France, the U.K., Italy, Brazil and Singapore - as well as the European Commission - were against a proposal that dropped a G20 commitment to "multilateral" and "rule-based" trade in the policy statement, a person familiar with the matter said, asking not to be named because the proceedings are private.

"I believe that in the long-term best interests, the strengthening of the dollar is a good thing and I think that the long term strengthening of the dollar is a sign of confidence in the reserve currency", he said.

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