Treasury's Mnuchin says Trump doesn't want trade wars

18 March, 2017, 01:19 | Author: Celia Hoffman

This time, early drafts of the ministers' statement have omitted such unequivocal language, which in the final version could be softened to refer to trade that is "open" and "fair", without the absolute opposition to import restrictions to benefit domestic workers.

Germany's Finance Minister is backing Britain.

At a news conference with German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, Mnuchin said that President Donald Trump views trade as important for economic growth.

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 is in Berlin for the first meeting of the G20 finance ministers since Trump was sworn in on January 20.

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Trump has complained during his long run to the White House that China's yuan currency and the eurozone's euro currency are too weak, giving Beijing and the 19-nation euro currency bloc an unfair trade balance with the U.S. The new president has been particularly vocal in his attacks on China's currency valuation, even as he is planning a two-day summit next month at his Florida retreat along the Atlantic Ocean with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Among the treasurers, many worry about a rise of protectionism, as the new United States administration of President Donald Trump might practice harsh policies waging a trade war and pressure other countries on their monetary policies.

Mnuchin is scheduled to meet one-to-one with China's Finance Minister Xiao Jie and central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan. The U.S. had requested the changes, and asked that a reference to "fair" global trade to be included. That could be just wording - or it could be the signal of a new era in the global economy in response to Trump's focus on bilateral trade deals and the America First stance. Even as Trump has vowed to end multi-national trade deals, it is a figure that could grow with the strong US dollar, boosting USA manufacturing costs and making it more hard to sell US products overseas.

But both Schaeuble and Mnuchin both said they had a constructive discussion ahead of the G20 meeting and pledged to work together through differences to promote growth.

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