“People are more comfortable today, now that they’ve had the opportunity to spend time with me and listen to the president and hear our economic message”, Mnuchin said after a two-day meeting in Bari, Italy, with members of the Group of Seven, industrialized nations commonly known as the G-7.
They also vowed to cooperate more against cyber crime, finance the global anti-terror fight, and promote a fair tax system including digital economy.
Coming after a global cyber attack infected tens of thousands of computers in almost 100 countries on Friday.
“We recognize that cyber incidents represent a growing threat for our economies and that appropriate economy-wide policy responses are needed”.
“We reiterate that excess volatility and disorderly movements in exchange rates can have adverse implications for economic and financial stability”, the communique said. “This is a reminder to all of us the importance of cybersecurity”.
The isue has been on the agenda of the G7 for some time, with the primary focus on the potential threat of hackers being able to infiltrate the computer systems that run the worldwide banking system, capital and equity markets.
Mnuchin’s presence was overshadowed by a political firestorm in Washington after Trump fired Federal Bureau of Investigation chief James Comey, whose agency was investigating links between the president’s 2016 election campaign and the Russian government. The secretary arrived in Bari saying he was “excited” about USA trade policies after the announcement of a deal to boost exports of gas and beef to China, an agreement that was also noted by German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble.
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.
Mnuchin said earlier Saturday that he had productive meetings with his counterparts at Bari on the need to protect the financial IT infrastructure.
Mnuchin said he “couldn›t be happier with the last two days”. Angus Deaton, an economics Nobel Prize-winner, told delegates at a closed-door event held on Friday morning that inequality in the USA was reducing the life expectancy of the white middle class. Mr Mnuchin did not attend the talk, according to two people familiar with the matter.
“People have a level of understanding of Trump›s policies”, Mnuchin said.
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.
“It is an encouraging sign”, Padoan said.
Mr Mnuchin said the opening-up of the market for beef sales to China was a “huge deal” for the administration and for United States farmers. “But we reserve our rights to be protectionists to the extent that we believe that trade is not free and fair”.
Italy’s Minister of Economy and Finance Pier Carlo Padoan said there was agreement that trade is a “fundamentally positive situation we want to maintain and cultivate going forward”.
“Global recovery is gaining momentum, yet growth remains moderate and GDP is still below potential in many countries, with the balance of risks tilted to the downside”, the leaders said in a final communique. The group also reaffirmed a commitment to avoid competitive currency devaluations.
Talks between the leadership of the International Monetary Fund and Eurozone lenders did not wrap up a deal to proceed with a new bailout package for the debt-plagued country.
The issue of protectionism is expected to feature in discussions in Sicily, which take place in the town of Taormina.