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G-7 nations seek ways to make growth help more people

19 May, 2017, 23:31 | Author: Paula Vaughn
  • United States Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin center leaves at the end of a plenary session during a G7 of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting in Bari southern Italy Friday

Finance ministers and central bank governors from the world's seven biggest economic powers have kept their watered-down promise to promote free trade, as the new United States administration's reluctance to commit to a full-throated defence against protectionism remained firm.

Aso did not clarify whether he was concerned about US policies.

Italian finance minister Pier Carlo Padoan told reporters that the discussions, which had been scheduled before Friday's attacks, were "unfortunately very timely". "So I am very satisfied. Of course we need to make steps forward, there are different views across the G-7 and the G-20 for that, but I am confident, we can reach common views".

There is also some concern Mr. Trump's tax plan could push the country deeper into debt, raising questions over the administration's argument that cutting corporate tax levels to 15% from their current 35% rate will be financed by revenue generated by a higher pace of economic expansion.

Those concerns include faster-than-expected US interest rate increases, which could affect some developing economies by triggering an outflow of capital and investment, and China's reliance on excessively rapid credit expansion for growth.

The Italian G7 presidency has listed security as a "global public good" - including issues related to anti-terrorism financing, remittances and cyber security - and one of its four finance priorities. "We're going to try to get this done as quickly as we can".

"When he came to Baden-Baden, his comments were tentative - probably because it was his first global meeting and it was soon after he started", Japan's Finance Minister Taro Aso told reporters. But he offered little detail. Mnuchin's practice of "speed-dating" (in his own words) other nations' finance ministers also suggests a rising degree of protectionism, pragmatism, and bilateralism in everything USA-related from this point on, which is a huge leap away from the idealistic global unanimity on every single challenge the world economy is facing.

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"The U.S. has just concluded an agreement with China", Schaeuble said.

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The G7 is made up of the United States and six other major economies - Canada, Germany, Japan, Britain, France and Italy.

The Italian delegation, which is responsible for all of this year's G7 meetings including a summit of global leaders in Sicily in May, had sought to avoid a repeat of the scrap that broke out between the United States delegation and everyone else in the room - bar Japan - at the G20 meeting held between finance ministers and central bank governors in Baden-Baden in March.

The agreements, presented in the form of a final statement, are not legally binding but they represent the leaders' political commitment to follow through.

This article was updated with new information.

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