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G-7 vows increased steps against cyberattacks, mum on protectionism

Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso leaves at the end of a plenary session during a G7 of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting in Bari southern Italy Friday G7 to give unchanged message on trade, foreign exchange: official Add to ...
Manuel Armenta | 20 May, 2017, 03:01

He said the Trump administration's economic policies aren't directly aimed at pursuing policies that would restrict trade, but rather are meant to spur USA growth and aid the global economy. That follows two G-20 gatherings where Mnuchin refused to sign up to an well established explicit shunning of protectionism, and pressed for trade to be "fair" and "reciprocal".

"It is important protectionism is off the table".

Italian finance minister Pier Carlo Padoan told reporters that the discussions on cybersceurity, which had in fact been scheduled before Friday's attacks, turned out to be "unfortunately very timely".

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There is also some concern Mr. Trump's tax plan could push the country deeper into debt, raising questions over the administration's argument that cutting corporate tax levels to 15% from their current 35% rate will be financed by revenue generated by a higher pace of economic expansion.

Finally, the G7 financial leaders took the first steps to develop a coordinated taxation approach towards digital economy, and asked the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to develop a series of policy options in an interim report due in spring 2018.

"We want to have balanced trade", Mr Mnuchin said.

When asked if G7 ministers were concerned about the potential for U.S. tax reform to cause the income gap to widen, Secretary Mnuchin said, "Reductions in the highest tax rates will be offset by reductions in deductions". But he offered little detail.

"The U.S. has just concluded an agreement with China", Schaeuble said.

"While many potential policy responses are largely domestic, some of them require, by definition, a collective effort", it stressed.

On Saturday, the Finance Ministers of the G-7 countries, which are Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, the United States and U.K., are going to discuss how to make growth more inclusive, how to illicit money flows, and how to fight tax evasion, reported ABC News, according to Focus News Agency.

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The G7 is made up of the United States and six other major economies - Canada, Germany, Japan, Britain, France and Italy.

The Italian delegation, which is responsible for all of this year's G7 meetings including a summit of global leaders in Sicily in May, had sought to avoid a repeat of the scrap that broke out between the United States delegation and everyone else in the room - bar Japan - at the G20 meeting held between finance ministers and central bank governors in Baden-Baden in March.

Information for this article was contributed by David McHugh of The Associated Press; and by Birgit Jennen, David Goodman, Alessandro Speciale, Toru Fujioka, Saleha Mohsin, Lorenzo Totaro, Alessandra Migliaccio, Matthew Miller, Elena Gergen-Constantine and Flavia Rotondi of Bloomberg News.