G20 financial leaders see downside risks to global economy from trade disputes

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Washington | Published: April 21, 2018 11:54:21 AM

Financial leaders from the Group of 20 (G20) have expressed concerns that trade disputes among major economies could pose downside risks to the global economy, Argentine Treasury Minister Nicolas Dujovne has said.

G20 leaders, G20 financial leaders, Group of 20, trade disputes, global economy, economies, World Trade Organization, WTOThe G20 meeting comes after the Trump administration recently announced additional tariffs on imported steel and aluminium and threatened to impose broad tariffs against Chinese imports.

Financial leaders from the Group of 20 (G20) have expressed concerns that trade disputes among major economies could pose downside risks to the global economy, Argentine Treasury Minister Nicolas Dujovne has said. “Concerns on trade disputes occupied some part of the discussions that we had yesterday, and, of course, it is still one of the three main concerns in terms of the downside risks for the economy,” Dujovne told reporters in Washington on Friday after wrapping up a two-day meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors under Argentina’s presidency, Xinhua reported.

“We discussed trade and the potential impacts on the global economy and the potential disruption that modifications on the trade scheme can actually pose to the global economy,” he said. While some differences over trade appeared in the last few months, Dujovne said G20 members “still have a very big consensus on the benefits of trade for growth.”

“The idea that the gains from trade have to be evenly shared is a concern that was placed both by advanced economies and emerging economies,” echoed Argentine central bank governor Federico Sturzenegger, noting “there was general appeal for multilateralism”. However, the G20 meeting didn’t discuss specific trade measures, which are appropriate for the World Trade Organization (WTO) to deal with, according to Dujovne.

Chinese Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao said at the meeting that current global recovery is facing “substantial challenges from a strong wave of anti-globalization and unilateralism.” He urged G20 members to “firmly support the multilateral trading system” and strengthen macroeconomic policy coordination so as to lay a solid foundation for sustainable global growth, according to a statement posted on the website of China’s Ministry of Finance.

The G20 meeting comes after the Trump administration recently announced additional tariffs on imported steel and aluminium and threatened to impose broad tariffs against Chinese imports. These unilateral protectionist measures have sparked widespread criticism and provoked threats of retaliation from major trading partners, raising the prospect of escalating global trade conflicts that threaten global recovery.

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