German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Friday he would convey in his meeting with Mnuchin that the world needs US leadership to help drive global growth. Under the administration of Donald Trump, the USA are feeling disadvantaged in global trade, not least due to other major currencies being undervalued compared to the dollar and unfavourable trade deals that the U.S. had signed up to in the past 25 years.
Finance ministers and central bank governors from the Group of Seven (G7) countries on Saturday pledged to use all available means to boost economic recovery and make global growth more inclusive.
Finance ministers from the G7 club of rich countries committed to greater coordination in facing the rising threat of worldwide cyberattacks in a joint statement Saturday.
Aso told reporters that he has come to see that Trump's trade policy - widely viewed as protectionist - is no different from previous administrations in favor of free trade.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Saturday after meeting with officials from the world's other industrialized democracies that he thought they were more at ease with Donald Trump's economic policies. "We don't want to be protectionist, but we reserve our rights to be protectionist if we don't believe trade is free and fair".
Those concerns include faster-than-expected USA interest rate increases, which could affect some developing economies by triggering an outflow of capital and investment, and China's reliance on excessively rapid credit expansion for growth.
"We will work to lift actual and potential growth, while ensuring that the fruits of economic growth are shared more widely", the G7 communique read.
Mnuchin spoke after face-to-face meetings with major trade partners such as Germany, Japan and Canada at the Group of Seven finance ministers' meeting in Bari, Italy.
But he said the continued uncertainty about the direction of U.S. policy represented a risk, echoing comments made on Friday by Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso.
Italian finance minister Pier Carlo Padoan told reporters that the discussions, which had been scheduled before Friday's attacks, were "unfortunately very timely".
The G-7 nations, meeting in Bari, southern Italy, said in a statement that they are "working to strengthen the contribution of trade to our economies" - a repetition of the language used at the Group-of-20 gathering in March that fell short of an explicit promise to avoid protectionism.
"We reaffirm our existing G7 exchange rate commitments to market-determined exchange rates and to consult closely in regard to actions in foreign exchange markets", the draft said.
A Group of Seven communique issued on Saturday said officials were "working to strengthen the contribution of trade to our economies" - a weaker pledge than the statement from the Group of 20 leaders a year ago to avoid protectionism in all its forms.