Published: Sun, March 19, 2017
Economy | By Annette Adams

US's Tough Trade Talk Scores Win In Battle With G20 Powers

US's Tough Trade Talk Scores Win In Battle With G20 Powers

The world's top economic powers have dropped a pledge to fully oppose trade protectionism amid pushback from the US government of President Donald Trump, who wants to favor American companies and workers more.

Protectionism can include border tariffs and rules that favor a country's businesses over those in another economy.

While the G20 remains an informal forum and Saturday's statement is non-binding, it does help set the tone for economic and financial policy for the year ahead.

Representatives from G20 nations have gathered in the picturesque western German spa town of Baden Baden since Friday for a meeting clouded by concerns over Trump's "America First" policy and scepticism towards climate change.

Canada, like China a major trade partner of the United States, took a nuanced approach.

"We thought it was very important for the communique to reflect what we discussed here, and that the historical language was not relevant", Mnuchin said at a press conference. He also said an overhaul of the US tax code was overdue and that the United States would rethink regulations put in place after the Great Recession.Two European officials described Mnuchin as friendly but "tough".

"Free Trade" is not the opposite of "protectionism", and what Trump offers is not "protectionism" no more than what the global collectivists offer is "Free Trade".

Some advocates, like the International Monetary Fund, readily concede that the benefits of free trade have been uneven across societies, as less skilled workers lose out and the better trained prosper.

BADEN BADEN, Germany The United States remains committed to free trade but wants to re-examine some trade deals and correct their excesses, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Saturday after G20 finance chiefs backtracked on past commitments about trade.

He said: "We believe in free trade", but added "balanced trade needs to be what's good for us and what's good for other people, a win-win situation".

Yet the United Kingdom's vote past year to leave the European Union and its free trade zone and Trump's victory on an "America First" platform have underlined discontent with trade and globalization and a sense among many that the benefits of a globalized economy - that is, with fewer barriers to trade and business - do not reach enough people. Their stance on issues such as free trade and climate change have major implications on the global economy. It also marked the biggest clash between the Trump administration and the global community.

The finance ministers' meeting will pave the way for a summit of national leaders in Hamburg, Germany, on July 7 and 8. But it wasn't clear what one or another meant by that, ' Schaeuble said.

Trump has suggested global warming was a "hoax" concocted by China to hurt USA industry and vowed to scrap the Paris climate accord aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions.

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