Published: Sun, May 14, 2017
Life&Culture | By Rose Hansen

Mnuchin: US partners more comfortable with Trump on trade

"This is a reminder to all of us of the importance and focus on cyber security", said U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin."We had this on the agenda today, we were speaking about it, I think people felt so strongly about it that we agreed to keep it on the agenda for the next few sessions".

He said the Trump administration's economic policies aren't directly aimed at pursuing policies that would restrict trade, but rather are meant to spur USA growth and aid the global economy. Trump has vowed to press for trade that is fair as well as open and benefits US workers and has focused on bilateral, or country-to-country, relations.

"Our approach is for more balanced trade, and people have heard that". "We don't want to be protectionist but we reserve our right to be protectionist to the extent that we believe trade is not free and fair".

"All the six others. said explicitly, and sometimes very directly, to the representatives of the USA administration that it is absolutely necessary to continue with the same spirit of global cooperation", Sapin told reporters at the end of the G7 meeting in southern Italy. "The U.S. administration is quite new and the cooperation is improving", Schaeuble said.

Already, Trump has yanked the United States out of the 12-nation Trans Pacific trade agreement and threatened to pull out of its NAFTA agreement with Canada and Mexico.

Mnuchin said preliminary discussions have begun with Canada and Mexico to renegotiate NAFTA, a topic that came up for discussion during his one-on-one meeting with Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau. That divergence augurs for potential disagreements when the nations' leaders gather in Sicily later this month - an event which marks Trump's first major worldwide summit as U.S. President.

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The head of an worldwide organization representing many advanced economies says that a new, multinational tax treaty will be of "massive consequence" in preventing big companies from avoiding taxes. "We're going to try to get this done as quickly as we can".

The United States believes the world's other rich economies are getting used to the policy plans of President Donald Trump, but Europe and Japan remain anxious about Washington's shift.

According to French Finance Minister Michel Sapin, all the other rich countries unanimously called on U.S. to respect global trade.

They also called for a renewed common effort against cybercrime, a timely message in the wake of Friday's ransom ware attacks in dozens of countries.

The G7 meeting, gathering financial leaders from the world's seven developed economies, run from May 11 to May 13 in the southern Italian city of Bari.

Besides ministers and governors from the Group of Seven - comprising Canada, the U.S., France, Germany, Italy, Britain, and Japan, top officials from the European Union (EU) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) also joined the meeting. The group's agreements, presented in the form of a final statement, aren't legally binding; instead they represent the leaders' political commitment to follow through.

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