Exclusive: G20 financial leaders to speak against unfair trade practices - draft communique

From Reuters - March 13, 2018

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The worlds financial leaders will pledge to fight unfair trade practices and stress the role of global trade rules when they meet on March 20, as the United States raises the threat of a global trade war by imposing import tariffs on steel and aluminum.

Finance ministers and central bank governors of the worlds 20 biggest economies will discuss on March 19-20 in Buenos Aires the risks to the improving global economic outlook, including a retreat to inward looking policies.

A draft communique prepared for the meeting, seen by Reuters, says the ministers and central bankers reiterate the conclusions of our Leaders on trade at the Hamburg Summit, and are working to strengthen its contribution to their economies.

Last week, U.S. President Donald Trump announced he would impose import tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent for aluminum to protect domestic metals production that he said was vital to national security.

Canada and Mexico are exempt from the tariffs. The European Union has been pushing to be exempted too, but so far without success.

The move seems to clash with the declaration signed by G20 leaders, including Trump, in Hamburg last July which said G20 countries would fight protectionism including all unfair trade practices, although it also said they recognize the role of legitimate trade defense instruments.

Angela Merkel, who hosted the G20 summit last year, said at the time agreeing the joint position on trade had been extraordinarily difficult because of the United States.


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