Treasury's Mnuchin says Trump does not want trade warsBy Freda Brock Mar 18, 2017
Finance Ministers and central bank chiefs from the Group of 20 economies will start a meeting in southwestern Germany today.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin may offer the Group of 20 something the world hasn't heard yet from the new USA administration on currency and trade policy: reassurance.
Speaking to Reuters ahead of the meeting, Schäuble said the protectionist stance of the new US administration could complicate the talks and force policymakers to leave out the disputed trade issue.
But when asked whether the Group of 20 finance ministers should explicitly reaffirm their past vow to resist protectionism, Mnuchin repeated his view that some USA trade relationships need to be re-examined to make them fairer and more reciprocal. 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.
"I am convinced that for Europe as a whole - and I'm not sure this will be very beloved in Paris - it's in our own interest to have a strong financial centre in London", Schaeuble said in a keynote speech at the Institute of International Finance Conference in Frankfurt.
The Trump administration has attacked both Japan and German by claiming their economies were benefiting from artificially low currencies, while the President has lashed out at Beijing describing it as the "grand champion" of currency manipulation. It is a very different situation than we have: "a single currency controlled by a single country", Mnuchin said.
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"Our desire is that... when there is imbalances in trading relationships that we have a need to address that", Mnuchin said.
Attention at the two-day meeting in the German spa town of Baden-Baden has centered on a joint statement that is being prepared for Saturday.
Germany, which holds the G20 presidency this year, is concerned Trump could upend the global economic order with his "America First" policy.
Trump has repeatedly emphasized that the USA needs a tougher approach to trade that would put American workers and companies first.
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.
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