However, no compromise was found, meaning no new deal could be reached by the close of Saturday's summit.
This would break with a decade-old tradition among the finance ministers and central bankers of the world's 20 top economies (G20), who over the years have repeatedly rejected protectionism and endorsed free trade.
Commitments of support to the existing multilateral trade system, including the World Trade Organization (WTO), were also conspicuously missing from the final communique.
The new U.S. Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, at the G20 conference.
Asked whether the USA opposed the inclusion of the anti-protectionism language, Yoo said, "Every country has different levels of reactions to protectionism" and only several countries strongly opposed the exclusion of an anti-protectionism phrase in the communique. "He's getting around, he's getting to know his colleagues, I think he sent some very positive messages in terms of engaging all the economies".
'The historical language was not really relevant, ' said Mnuchin.
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'Having said that, we want to re-examine certain agreements. Again, U.S. representatives presented a perspective consistent with President Trump's own recent comments and actions.
His strategy includes threats to penalize companies that manufacture overseas by heavily taxing their products.
That stance has grated Washington's partners, who are trying to persuade US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to renew a long-standing G20 anti-protectionism commitment and uphold an global deal on climate won only after years of painful negotiations.
His stance has been condemned by Washington's trading partners, and led Beijing to issue a stern warning against sparking a trade war.
Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso and Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond arrive for the family photo at the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting in Baden-Baden, Germany, on Friday. "Our world and France would have liked to see the G-20 continue to take firm and concerted action", he went on. Mnuchin said he did not believe that the environment was an issue for the G20 ministers. "It's completely clear we are not for protectionism", Wolfgang Schaeuble, finance minister of host country Germany, told reporters, though he did, without mentioning a country by name, say that "maybe one or the other important member state needs to get a sense of how worldwide cooperation works".