USA issues trade challenge at fraught G20

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to testify at his Senate confirmation hearing on Jan. 19

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to testify at his Senate confirmation hearing on Jan. 19

For Washington, the watered-down language that emerged in their communiqué ensures the USA can still use sanctions or other policy tools to punish trade partners and thwart economic policies the Trump administration believes to be unfair.

Ministers had "reached an impasse and dead end" on protectionism, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said after he made a last-ditch effort to try to forge a consensus on the issue.

On Friday (17 March), at a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, US President Donald Trump denounced his country's free trade deal with Mexico and Canada (NAFTA) as "a catastrophe for the US".

Trump and other critics of free trade argue that it can cause jobs, such as in the labor-intensive manufacturing sector, to move to lower-cost countries. "As highlighted in our discussion at the G20 High Level Tax Symposium, we emphasize the effectiveness of tax policy tools in supply-side structural reform for promoting innovation-driven, inclusive growth, as well as the benefits of tax certainty to promote investment and trade".

"What was included in the past communiques was not necessarily relevant from my standpoint", Mnuchin said following the meeting. "The U.S.is going to learn it's not as in-the-driver-seat as they think".

Newman skips late pit stop, stuns NASCAR field in Phoenix
Martin Truex Jr., last week's victor in Las Vegas, had an air gun jam on a pit stop when he was running around the top 10. Logano had the fastest lap through two rounds, but the top 12 have to start from scratch and qualify in the third round.

At a G20 finance meeting, the world's largest economies got a taste of what the Trump administration's "America First" agenda would look like.

Carried to power on the back of a political storm over deindustrialization in vast areas of the U.S., Trump vowed in his inauguration speech to "follow two simple rules: buy American and hire American".

The "Group of 20", commonly abbreviated as G20, includes 19 countries and the European Union, which represent a majority of the global economy. The G20 summit with each country's government leader will be held in July in Hamburg, Germany. Its decisions don't have the same force as an worldwide treaty but depend on individual countries' promises to follow through. He met with top officials from France, South Korea, Japan, China, Saudi Arabia, the European Central Bank, Britain, Germany and Argentina, among others. So far, he is one of the only members of Trump's Cabinet who has sought to develop relationships with foreign leaders.

"To a person, they have said they have been pleased with the way he is coming at issues", Morneau said.

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