Finance ministers from seven rich countries were wrapping up work Saturday on efforts to make growth more inclusive and to fight tax evasion and illicit money flows. Officials from the Group of Seven are also taking the opportunity to hear more about the Trump administration’s economic proposals from US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Italy, the host country for the informal forum this year, wants the meeting to produce separate statements about fairer growth and fighting tax evasion.
Mnuchin is taking the opportunity to lay out the Trump administration’s views on trade. During his presidential campaign, Trump charged that past administrations had failed to take a tough stand on enforcing trade agreements and this failure had cost millions of good-paying factory jobs and resulted in an enormous U.S. trade deficit. The gathering in a 13th-Century seaside fortress in the southern Italian town of Bari is paving the way for a meeting of national leaders in Taormina, Sicily May 26-27.
The G-7 countries are Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, the United States and U.K., with representatives of the European Union also attending. 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.