Trade war is now a reality, says French finance minister, as G20 countries meet

The reality of a trade war has arrived, according to Bruno Le Maire, the French finance minister, speaking as G20 ministers gathered for a summit in Argentina.
He said the US trade policy of unilateral tariffs was based on the "law of the jungle" as he pushed back against the demands of Donald Trump's administration.
The result is that the US and its European Union allies are locked in trade stalemate after Steven Mnuchin, US Treasury Secretary, refused to drop US demands.
In his opening salvo at the Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires, Mr Mnuchin urged China and the EU to respect "free, fair and reciprocal trade" amid talk of an escalating global trade conflict, but his French counterpart fired back that the US must "return to reason."
Mr Mnuchin was inflexible in his approach to the EU following a series of tit-for-tat measures that began with US President Donald Trump's decision to slap tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.
Trade war fears hang heavily over Wall Street’s banking giants
"My message is pretty clear, it's the same message the president delivered at the G7: if Europe believes in free trade, we're ready to sign a free trade agreement with no tariffs, no non-tariff barriers and no subsidies. It has to be all three," he said.
That provoked a firm response from Mr Le Maire at the meeting, which brings together finance ministers and central bank governors from the world's 20 leading economies.
"We refuse to negotiate with a gun to the head," he said. "It must be the US that takes the first step to de-escalate."
Trade war is now a reality, says French finance minister, as G20 countries meet

G20 finance ministers pose for their "family portrait"

Eitan Abramovich/AFP
He said he expected "a change of attitude" from Mr Trump, otherwise "there will be no choice other than to retaliate."
Christine Lagarde, International Monetary Fund chief, opened the summit by reiterating her fears that increasing trade restrictions would hurt global GDP.
Ms Lagarde said that taking into account "current announced and in process measures," an IMF simulation indicates that in a worst-case scenario, a half point would be cut from global GDP, amounting to some $430 billion.
But Mr Mnuchin showed no signs of a US willingness to back down.
Trade war is now a reality, says French finance minister, as G20 countries meet

Steven Mnuchin offered no compromise
Asked about Mr Trump's threat to hammer China with punitive tariffs on the entirety of the $500 billion in goods it exports to the US, he said: "It is definitely a realistic possibility, so I wouldn't minimise the possibility."
He added: "We share a desire to have a more balanced relationship and the balanced relationship is by us selling more goods (to China)."
Mr Mnuchin said China must "open up their markets so we can compete fairly," although he insisted that to do so would be "a tremendous opportunity for us and a tremendous opportunity for China."
See also:
Leave a comment
  • Latest
  • Read
  • Commented
Calendar Content
«    Май 2019    »