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G7 Financial Leaders Vow More Cyber Cooperation

18 May 2017

"People feel a level of comfort in understanding the Trump administration's policies, now that we have had the ability to interact a few times", Mnuchin told reporters Saturday after a two-day summit with G7 finance ministers and central bank chiefs.

Subsequently, many global trade issues were put off the table during the Bari meeting, and the G7 discussed economic growth, cyberattacks, fiscal policies, and financial regulation (or deregulation, the case with the US).

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was due to explain Trump's plans to cut business taxes and regulation, as well as the president's push for what he considers more balanced trading relationships.

He said the administration was focused on growth, "and growth in the United States is good for the world economy".

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Saturday after meeting with officials from the world's other industrialized democracies that he thought they were more at ease with Donald Trump's economic policies.

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Populist anger at trade, globalization and manufacturing job losses fueled Trump's ascent to the USA presidency, played a role in Britain's decision to exit the European Union, and propelled an antiglobalism candidate into the French presidential runoff vote earlier this month.

The G7 meetings in Italy was also overshadowed by the inability of the members to adopt a united stance on issues such as imposing sanctions on Russian Federation and how to deal with a UN-backed deal on climate change, which the new USA administration views with skepticism.

European officials complained that the USA meaning of "fair trade" remained unclear and that the only way to establish fairness was to abide by the multilateral framework developed by the World Trade Organization.

"We do not want to be protectionist, but we reserve our right to be protectionist to the extent that we believe trade is not free and fair", Mnuchin told a news conference at the end of the two-day gathering. A Canadian ministry statement called it a "productive discussion" and said Canada is committed to working out a durable solution.

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.

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Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States make up the G7.

But ministers from the other G7 countries made it clear they did not share the U.S. secretary's view.

According to French Finance Minister Michel Sapin, all the other rich countries unanimously called on United States to respect global trade.

Tax policy can act as an important driver of economic growth - a top priority for the world's largest countries and multinational organizations like the International Monetary Fund.

The group's agreements, presented in the form of a final statement, aren't legally binding; instead they represent the leaders' political commitment to follow through.

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G7 Financial Leaders Vow More Cyber Cooperation