G20 pushes of free trade as amid worries about U.S. metals tariffs

Vastavam web: World financial leaders pleaded for an endorsement of free trade on Monday amid worries about U.S. metals tariffs and looming trade sanctions on China, but Trump administration officials said they would not sacrifice U.S. national interests.The Buenos Aires meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors of the world’s 20 biggest economies was meant to discuss a brightening economic outlook, the future of work, cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, and corporate tax avoidance.

Trump is expected on Friday to announce new tariffs on up to $60 billion worth of Chinese technology and consumer goods annually, to punish Beijing over its drive to acquire U.S. intellectual property, sources told.“The first risk is the risk of inward looking policies and protectionism,” European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici told reporters after the first day of talks. Protectionism could damage growth, he added.

A draft G20 communique seen by Reuters last week said something similar but it was not clear if it would be retained in the final version of the statement to be published on Tuesday and which has to be agreed by unanimity.“But the environment we’re in now, where the expectation is America totally subordinates its national interests in order for the free trade system to work, is just one we don’t accept. So, we’ve been very clear, we believe in free trade with reciprocal terms that leads to more balanced trade relationships,” he said.The U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs have raised global alarm that the U.S. would dismantle the trading system based on World Trade Organization rules in favor of unilateral actions.

Canada and Mexico are exempt from the tariffs, which enter into force on March 23 and are mainly aimed at China. But the European Union wants to be exempted, too.