Tags: g20 | free trade | pledge | united states | steven mnuchin | donald trump | nafta

G20 Drops Free Trade Pledge

Image: G20 Drops Free Trade Pledge
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speaks at a news conference during the G20 finance ministers meeting in Baden-Baden, southern Germany. (Uwe Anspach/dpa via AP)

By Solange Reyner   |   Saturday, 18 Mar 2017 07:02 PM

G20 finance ministers and central bankers on Saturday dropped a pledge to keep global trade free and open under pressure from the U.S., CNN reports.

"We believe in free trade, we are in one of the largest markets in the world, we are one of the largest trading partners in the world, trade has been good for us, it has been good for other people," U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said during a press conference after the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting in Baden-Baden, Germany. "Having said that, we want to re-examine certain agreements."

Mnuchin rejected a statement from other leading economies that warned of the dangers of trade protectionism and rejected the suggestion of emphasizing the importance of free trade in a joint statement issued by the committee.

President Donald Trump during his campaign was vocal about his opposition to numerous trade deals and, in the first week of his presidency pulled out of the Trans Pacific Partnership. The president also pledged to rip up the North American Free Trade Agreement but backpedaled after meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in mid-February.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble downplayed the dispute.

"It is not that we were not united," Schäuble told Reuters. "It was totally undisputed that we are against protectionism. But it is not very clear what (protectionism) means to each (minister)."

In the statement, the committee wrote: “We are working to strengthen the contribution of trade to our economies.”

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G20 finance ministers and central bankers on Saturday dropped a pledge to keep global trade free and open under pressure from the U.S., CNN reports.
g20, free trade, pledge, united states, steven mnuchin, donald trump, nafta, trans pacific
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2017-02-18
 

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