Steven Mnuchin Treasury chief in Germany says U.S. not seeking 'trade wars'

Maxine SotoMar 18, 2017

It will be their first meeting attended by representatives of Trump's administration.

Schaeuble described the talks in Berlin as "friendly and constructive", calling it a "good beginning" ahead of the G20 gathering. The new president says he favors one-to-one trade deals between the US and other individual countries. Mnuchin's measured approach may be seen as an emollient amid the often chaotic signaling by the new administration.

Mnuchin said on Thursday (March 17) that President Donald Trump did not want to get into trade wars but wanted to re-examine certain trade relationships to make them fairer for US workers.

"The euro is used by many countries and impacted by many aspects".

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"There is no need for hurry, no need to make the decision today", Waszczykowski said on TVN24. Merkel saying no cuts to Poland's European Union subsidies were on the agenda now.

Mnuchin said the ministers agreed that they should fight currency manipulation.

G20 officials said the US was ready to accept a phrase backing "open and fair" trade, given that the meaning of "fair" was open to interpretation.

But he said he would press fellow finance ministers from China, Japan, Germany and other G20 countries to abide by existing currency vows and to not to use their exchange rates for competitive gain and others' disadvantage.

European stocks moved slightly lower Friday, but hovered around their highest levels in more than a year, with investors turning attention to the meeting of Group of 20 finance officials in Germany.

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Germany, which hosts the G20 presidency this year, was rebuffed in its attempts to forge a compromise on the wording of a statement about the global economy that reflects the rules-led system under the World Trade Organization, and the focus on "fairness" that the new US spirit has brought with it.

"Our desire is that... when there is imbalances in trading relationships that we have a need to address that", Mnuchin said.

Mr Mnuchin dismissed concerns that Washington would be the instigator of any disruption, saying President Trump was interested in "free and fair" trade, with agreements that are "reciprocal".

"I hope there will be a wide agreement on the benefits of a global, open system based on rules and multilateralism", Italy's Pier Carlo Padoan told reporters.

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It will be the first time the men will meet in person, and comes at a time of heightened tensions in east Asia. He has accused China of manipulating its currency to allow its goods to outsell American made products.

In a sign of cooler heads, Schauble called Mnuchin's comments a "very good message" and said he is looking forward to a productive summit with other G20 finance ministers. "We at the G20, the rest of the world, aren't in favor of protectionism, in fact are anti-protectionism".

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