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20.03.2017 - 07: 12

G20 Ministers refused to promise to defend free trade

The finance ministers of the "Big Twenty" at its annual meeting failed to agree on a free trade protection and the fight against protectionism after the United States refused to sign the document.

The problem of protectionism intensified with the arrival of the new US administration led by President Donald Trump, said the need to reduce the country's trade deficit.

In a communiqué issued after the meeting in the German city of Baden-Baden, there were no words that countries commit themselves to combat protectionism and promoting free trade.

Last year, representatives G20 promised to resist all forms of protectionism.

The finance ministers also refused to promise to fight global warming. Earlier, Trump called climate change a fiction.

French Finance Minister Michel Sapin said that he was sorry that the countries could not agree on two priorities for the modern world things.

The head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, after finance ministers summit G20 said that global growth is gaining momentum, but the wrong policy can stop this process.

"Revisit some agreements"

Steven Mnuchin, who took part in its first international conference after his appointment as US Treasury Secretary, tried to relieve the tension that arose due to the absence in the final communiqué of the assurances of commitment to free trade.

According to him, it is not necessary to attach too much importance to the missing words in the document as this document simply had to reflect the discussion, which was conducted at the meeting.

"We believe in free trade, we -. One of the largest markets in the world - the US Treasury said -. But we would like to review some of the specific agreement ... and we consider that the old agreement will require new negotiations."

According Mnuchina, trade agreements should offer favorable conditions to all its sides.

The new US president Donald Trump after taking office conducts a protectionist policy. He, in particular, called the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the worst trade agreement ever existed.

When it came out of the US Trans-Pacific trade partnership. He also criticized China and Germany for a large trade surplus.

In addition, Trump has promised to impose higher taxes on the companies that move production from the US to other countries.


Comment Joe Miller, the special correspondent of the BBC B in Baden-Baden:

It all started well. The meeting of Ministers of Finance "Big Twenty" in sunny Baden-Baden opened assurance US Treasury Stephen Mnuchina that the White House is not interested in starting international trade wars.

It was expected that the joint efforts of countries such as Germany and recently peremetnuvshiysya the camp of supporters of free trade, China, Washington's threat to introduce more stringent tariffs or change already concluded and ratified trade agreements can be neutralized.

But two days later, in a communiqué, endorsed by all the assembled finance ministers, no word on the free trade protection. Nor is there, in contrast to last year's communiqué, promising to fight any forms of protectionism.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said that the negotiations on these issues at an impasse, and that he and his colleagues could not get the partners - ie the United States - to endorse the words with which they disagree.

Schäuble added that the talks were held in a friendly atmosphere, but many have serious doubts as to whether in the future as friendly trade relations with the world's largest economy.

A source: BBC Russian Service

Tags: Economics, international relations, trade