Not worth the trade-off? G20 wavers in its stance against protectionism


Not worth the trade-off? G20 wavers in its stance against protectionism

In a blow to the credibility of the Group of 20 finance ministers meeting in Germany over the weekend, they ceded ground to the Trump administration's "America First" approach to global affairs.

Members struggled to sway the US administration from their hard line stance on free-trade as US Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin could not be moved from his position by the other nations. During his campaign, Trump threatened unilateral tariffs on Mexican and Chinese goods and said he would quit the North American Free Trade agreement unless it is renegotiated to his liking.

"There was agreement to finalise the Basel III framework without further increasing the capital requirements across the banking sector", Treasury commented, adding that the G20 members requested a progress report and the 2017 work plan under the FSB-coordinated action plan to assess and address the decline in correspondent banking.

Unable to convince Mr Mnuchin in Baden-Baden, the rest of the G20 must now play a waiting game until that July meeting.

Carried to power on the back of a political storm over deindustrialization in vast areas of the U.S., Trump vowed in his inauguration speech to "follow two simple rules: buy American and hire American".

"I was pleased to see the support for trade in the G20 communique", Mr Morrison said in a statement on Sunday.

While Mnuchin concentrated on making good first impressions with his G20 counterparts, US negotiators behind the scenes insisted that they could no longer accept previous language vowing "to resist all forms of protectionism".

The G-20, an global forum created in 1999 for the governments from 20 major economies, met in Baden-Baden, Germany, over the weekend, Mnuchin's first official trip as America's top finance man.

"We will consult closely on exchange markets", they said.

Germany, the European Union's largest economy, started a program called "Compact with Africa" as part of its presidency of the G-20 to build up the continent's economies and stem migration to the bloc, which has attracted more than 1 million refugees since 2015. The company had been trying to restructure and said in February it faced a "going concern issue" if it did achieve a favorable outcome.



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