US Will have Free but Fair and Balanced Trade Mnuchin
BADEN BADEN, Germany (Reuters) - The United States remains committed to free trade but wants to re-examine some trade deals and correct their excesses, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Saturday after G20 finance chiefs backtracked on past commitments about trade.
Making only a token reference to trade in their communique, finance ministers and central bank chiefs from the world’s top 20 economies broke with a decade-long tradition of endorsing open trade, a clear defeat for host nation Germany, which has fought to maintain the G20’s past commitments.
“What was in the past communique is not necessarily relevant from my standpoint,” Mnuchin told a news conference in Baden Baden after his first meeting with the finance chiefs of the world’s 20 biggest economies.
“I understand what the president’s desire is and his policies, and I negotiated them from here. I couldn’t be happier with the outcome,” Mnuchin said.
In the new U.S. administration’s biggest clash yet with the international community, G20 finance chiefs rowed back on a pledge to reject protectionism and maintain an open and inclusive global trade system.