G7 finance chiefs talk cyber security in Bari after attacks

"We will strive to reduce excessive global imbalances and in a way that supports global growth".

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Friday he would convey in his meeting with Mnuchin that the world needs US leadership to help drive global growth.

U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin arrives at the G7 for Financial ministers in the southern Italian city of Bari, Italy May 11, 2017.

The G7 financial leaders in Bari were set to repeat a line agreed by the broader Group of 20 in March which said: "We are working to strengthen the contribution of trade to our economies".

"Everybody should contribute in order to run our economies, in order to deliver health, in order to deliver education, infrastructure, housing, water", Gurria said.

"Many of us, including myself and Dr. Schaeuble (German Finance Minister), told Mr. Mnuchin that it is unthinkable that in the weeks and months to come, we can allow the established framework to be debated", Michel Sapin, Finance Minister of France, said.

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.

In a final statement, the ministers said, "we reiterate our commitment to global economic and financial cooperation and we remain determined to use all policy tools - monetary, fiscal and structural - individually and collectively to achieve our goal of strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth".

A "Bari Policy Agenda" signed at the meeting would provide an overall framework within which the G7 governments would try to foster a more inclusive growth through such tools.

Financial leaders of seven leading world economies pledged stronger cooperation against cyber crime on Saturday and not to use foreign exchange to gain competitive advantage, but stuck to their cautious wording on trade, their final communique showed.

The threat of a trade war is only one of several risks to the global economy, however.

They called the G7 countries "the real culprits of poverty and social inequality" in the world.

Considering the lacklustre global recovery in the free trade era of 2010-2016, the USA representatives are even more convinced that domestic growth comes first.

But the priority for most officials in Bari was to get a sense of how far the Trump administration meant to go with its promises of reworking trade agreements, rules to prevent a repeat of the global financial crisis and other key areas.

When asked if G7 ministers were concerned about the potential for United States of America tax reform to cause the income gap to widen, Secretary Mnuchin said, "Reductions in the highest tax rates will be offset by reductions in deductions".

  • Zachary Reyes