BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – World's leading financial officials called for more dialogue on Sunday on trade disputes that threaten global economic growth with a warning that differences may persist and tensions continue to escalate.
The two-day gathering of finance ministers and central bankers from the 20-nation group came when the United States quarreled with China and other nations over trade, with nations levying tariffs on billions of dollars of each other's goods.
A recent communique said that although the global economy remains strong, growth becomes "less synchronized" and short and medium term risks have increased.
"These include increasing financial vulnerabilities, increased trade and geopolitical tensions, global imbalances, inequality, and underdeveloped growth, especially in some advanced economies," the communique said. "We … recognize the need to strengthen dialogue and action to mitigate risk and build confidence."
On Friday, President Donald Trump renewed his threat to roughly beat tariffs on a total of $ 500 billion from China. The same goes for all the goods that Beijing supplies to the US every year. The White House has also listed additional Chinese imports of $ 200 billion that could be subject to duty.
The US has also raised 25 percent on steel and 1
European Commissioner for Financial Affairs, Pierre Moscovici, warned that such disputes pose a threat
"Protectionism, I want to insist, is good for nobody," Moscovici told reporters. "Trade wars are not easy … they do not make winners, only losses."
U.S. Finance Minister Steven Mnuchin denied that protectionism was the problem.
"People are trying to say this about the United States and protectionism, which is not the case at all," he said at a press conference. "The point is that the United States wants fair and free trade … We very much support the idea that trade is important to the world economy, but it must be fair and reciprocal."
Mnuchin said there was no "substantive discussion" with China over the trade during the meeting. When asked what would be needed to resume talks with the Asian giant, he said, "Whenever they want to sit down and negotiate meaningful change, I and our team are available."
When the meeting came to an end, Moscovici said Despite the talks, there are still different positions.
"These meetings took place in an international context that is very challenging … The tensions in the trade remain high and they continue to escalate." 19659014 Christine Lagarde, Executive Director of the International Monetary Fund, warned that a tariff wave could cause significant damage to the world economy and reduce growth by about 20% 0.5% "in the worst-case scenario".
Mnuchin disagreed on Sunday, saying that the US economy was not harmed by the commercial struggles that triggered Trump's persistent policy. However, he acknowledged that some individual sectors were injured and said US officials are looking for ways to help them.
"We see some micro-effects where humans, our counterparts, target very, very specific things very specifically communities," he said. "But macroeconomically, we still do not see any significant impact on the economy."
So far, global markets have remained calm despite the US-China trade war and other trade conflicts.
But analysts say they expect Trump will impose more tariffs on China and potentially other major US trading partners. If these nations almost certainly fight back, the result could be higher prices for Americans, less export sales and a weaker US economy until next year.
Moscovici said the G20 meeting was not tense. He said that countries needed to "keep a cool head and maintain a reasonable sense of perspective" and that the EU was open to dialogue.
"That's why EU President Jean-Claude Juncker and EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom will meet Trump" next week in Washington, he said. "We hope that this meeting will be productive and successful."
Mnuchin said that the US is looking forward to these discussions.
The group of 20 nations consists of traditional economic powers such as the United States, Japan and Germany emerging economies such as China, Brazil, India and Argentina.
Buenos Aires officials also discussed issues such as the future of work and infrastructure for development, the international tax system and financial inclusion. It is the third of five meetings of finance ministers and central bankers planned in the run-up to a meeting of G-20 heads of state in Argentina from 30 November to 1 December. Mnuchin said Trump wanted to participate.
___  Associated Press author Patricia Luna and AP video journalist Paul Byrne have contributed to this report.
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