New York - Finance
chiefs of the Group of 20 economies plan to drop an explicit pledge to resist
protectionism, while still promising open trade, a draft of their statement
will maintain an open and fair international trading system,” according to the
preliminary communique seen by Bloomberg News and dated March 1. “We will also
strive to reduce excessive global imbalances, promote greater inclusiveness and
reduce inequality in our pursuit of economic growth.”
change in language compares with the wording after July’s meeting in Chengdu,
China, when finance ministers and central bankers vowed to “resist all forms of
protectionism”. Since then, a new US administration under President Donald
Trump has strained the global trade outlook by pledging to prioritise national
interests and lashing out against market-opening initiatives such as
the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union.
currently holds the rotating presidency of the G20 and will host finance
chiefs in the spa town of Baden-Baden on March 17-18, where the final
communique will be negotiated. Further drafts are likely to follow the one seen
group also plans to “reaffirm our previous exchange-rate commitments,” according
to the draft. A pledge to refrain from competitive devaluations and not use
exchange rates for competitive purposes - included in the Chengdu document -
is absent from the provisional Baden-Baden version.
G20 comments on exchange rates will be heavily scrutinised after Trump’s
administration said countries such as China, Japan and Germany are keeping
their currencies artificially low. Those nations have have hit back against the
willingness to press ahead with policies that have attracted international
criticism was highlighted on Monday when he signed an order restricting entry
into the US by people from six predominantly Muslim countries. The move
revives a signature initiative of his presidency that stalled in the face of
court challenges and sparked global protests.
G20 draft doesn’t make any reference to Britain’s vote to leave the EU. Officials said last year that the decision added uncertainty in the
global economy and they hoped to see the UK as a close partner of the EU.
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