Is Donald Trump weakening the G20's defence of free trade

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Thursday in Berlin that the Trump administration had no desire to get into trade wars, but certain trade relationships need to be re-examined to make them fairer for U.S. workers.

"It is perhaps the clues this meeting may hold over future United States trade deals that will provide the most meaningful direction", he said. "It can be very tempting in the short term but in the long term, it can only undermine trust", Schaeuble said.

Germany's finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has said it is in the EU's interest to have a strong financial centre in London.

During the campaign, Trump said he would consider any number of economic tactics to address trade deficits, including tariffs, currency sanctions and vowing to rewrite or cancel entire trade deals, though he has yet to follow through on any of those threats in the opening weeks of his presidency.

Schaeuble told Reuters in an interview that it was unclear whether the anti-protectionism language would remain in the G20 statement to be issued at the meeting's close on Saturday.

White House releases 2005 Trump tax details before TV report
It said this could have affected his returns for up to 18 years, allowing him to legally avoid paying federal income taxes. Trump's refusal to release his tax returns despite decades of precedent featured heavily in the 2016 presidential race.

The U.S. and Germany have come to blows over both trade policy and the euro's exchange rate since U.S. President Donald Trump's administration took office in January.

The US Treasury chief declined to comment specifically on the euro's current value, but in a shift away from criticism by White House National Trade Council Director Peter Navarro that Germany has benefited unfairly from the euro's weakness, Mnuchin acknowledged that the euro is used by many countries and is affected by many factors.

"What is sure is that the G20 is dedicated to multilateralism and global cooperation", France's Michel Sapin said.

Yet the British vote past year to leave the European Union and Trump's victory on an "America First" platform have underlined discontent with globalization, a sense among many that the benefits of a globalized economy - that is, with fewer barriers to trade and business - do not reach enough people. Europe was keen on adding trade should be "rules-based", meaning subject to rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Mnuchin is scheduled to meet one-to-one with China's Finance Minister Xiao Jie and central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan. That could be just wording - or it could be the signal of a new era in the global economy in response to Trump's focus on bilateral trade deals and the America First stance.

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