G20 frets over global economy amid US-China trade war

NYT: Mnuchin places blame and renews China tariff threat amid impasse in trade talks

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Saturday he did not see any impact on U.S. growth from the trade conflict, and that the government would take steps to protect consumers from higher tariffs.

Japan and the United States have been discussing a bilateral trade agreement, with President Donald Trump urging Tokyo to help reduce US trade deficits.

The final communique will also say the G20 leaders "will continue to address these risks and stand ready to take further action", the source told Reuters.

In a joint statement following a two-day meeting of G-20 leaders in Japan ahead of the group's annual summit, the 20 world leaders issued a joint statement noting that many ministers "expressed serious concerns about the current tensions surrounding trade".

As companies move out of China in order to avoid U.S. tariffs, "there's going to be a big economic opportunity for a lot of other countries", he said. The PBOC said in a statement that the two finance officials "exchanged views on global economic and financial situation, G20 issues, as well as topics of mutual interest".

Trade negotiations have been on hold since the USA ramped up tariffs on Chinese imports last month, prompting a retaliatory move from China, after a breakdown in talks.

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The draft statement, to which all the G20 financial leaders have to agree, contains a sentence in square brackets - which means it was not yet agreed - that trade and investment were important engines of growth.

"A worsening of the worldwide climate and a real trade war would lead to an even more marked slowdown in global growth, with a direct impact on our jobs, companies, factories and sectors", he said.

The remarks come as USA tariffs on 200 billion dollars of Chinese goods were raised to 25 percent last month, more than doubling a series of tariffs applied by the Trump administration a year ago.

The G-20 communique supported a push by Japan's finance minister Taro Aso for a policy response to aging populations, spanning fiscal and monetary policy to measures on boosting labor force participation.

The G-20 group includes Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union.

The trade war between the United States and China escalated in early May after Beijing backtracked on commitments to deliver key structural reforms, prompting Washington to raise tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods. He said he would hold a "private" discussion with Yi and that major progress on the stalemate would likely come at a meeting of Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping later this month. "If they don't, we'll proceed with our tariffs", Mnuchin told reporters on Saturday. "We reaffirm our leaders' conclusion on trade at the Buenos Aires summit". "We recognize the contribution that the multilateral trading system has made to that end".

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