G7 finance ministers to avoid trade spat, United States official says

The two officials did not discuss currency issues during their meeting in Bari, southern Italy, Aso told reporters after the talks, held on the fringe of a two-day meeting of the Group of Seven finance ministers and central bank heads from Friday.

Finance chiefs from the Group of Seven rich countries committed to join forces to fight the growing threat of global cyber attacks, a day after ransomware caused havoc at thousands of businesses and institutions worldwide.

The group is gathering with the global economy showing steady growth.

But Trump's threats to end a multilateral approach to policies from trade to climate change dominated discussions inside the walls of a 12th century Norman castle.

Trump has vowed to revamp the US tax code with major cuts for businesses and ease business regulatory burdens.

Trade had been left off the official agenda, the Financial Times reported, to avoid the controversial issue of protectionism, which has led to diplomatic friction between the members and the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump.

"We reaffirm our existing G7 exchange rate commitments to market-determined exchange rates and to consult closely in regard to actions in foreign exchange markets", the draft said.

He said the discussions, which also included topics like cybersecurity and combating terror financing, were "very productive".

At a bilateral meeting before the G7 on Thursday, Italy's Padoan sought to reassure Mnuchin about the state of Italy's banks, an Italian official present at the meeting said. -Canada trade relationship is to both economies.

Hammond said that he was at the meeting to "ensure a fair deal for Britain out of global trade to work together with our partners here to protect British citizens from external security threats", as well as ensuring that global companies pay their fair share of taxes in Britain.

The U.S. president has already pulled out of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and wants to re-negotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

After Trump's criticisms of financial regulation and trade.

One partner openly pushing back was Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau, who rejected as "baseless" duties the USA imposed on some Canadian lumber imports.

The G7 is made up of the United States and six other major economies - Canada, Germany, Japan, Britain, France and Italy. Italy's bad loans, a pressing issue encompassing the country's stability within the euro-zone, amounted to about 170 billion euros (184.7 billion USA dollars) net, senior deputy governor of Bank of #Italy Salvatore Rossi said in April.

The key focus of the ministers discussions will be the state of the global economic recovery, which the USA official said will be relatively optimistic, noting that European growth has "picked up".

A Group of Seven communique issued on Saturday said officials were "working to strengthen the contribution of trade to our economies" - a weaker pledge than the statement from the Group of 20 leaders past year to avoid protectionism in all its forms.

  • Zachary Reyes