Mnuchin: US partners more comfortable with Trump on trade

A statement at the southern port of Bari mirrored watered-down trade language from the Group of 20 two months ago, but ministers afterwards suggested an increasingly pragmatic tone to the talks after a stilted start.

Mnuchin's remarks on trade policy has become clearer than those made at the broader G20 financial chiefs' meeting in Germany in March, Aso told reporters at the end of the G7 meeting.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said he would consider retaliating against US coal imports. Subsequently, many worldwide trade issues were put off the table during the Bari meeting, and the G7 discussed economic growth, cyberattacks, fiscal policies, and financial regulation (or deregulation, the case with the US).

Yet, he added, "We don't want to be protectionist, but we reserve our rights to be protectionist to the extent that we believe that trade is not free and fair".

Populist anger at trade, globalization and manufacturing job losses fueled Trump's ascent to the US presidency, played a role in Britain's decision to exit the European Union, and propelled an antiglobalism candidate into the French presidential runoff vote earlier this month.

The G7 said banks should strengthen their resilience to attacks through regular exercises and simulations, known as "penetration tests", and it called on a cyber security task force it set up in 2015 to accelerate its work."We recognise that cyber incidents represent a growing threat for our economies and that appropriate economy-wide policy responses are needed", the G7 said in a statement.

Mnuchin said "this is a big priority for the president".

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Top finance officials from the Group of 7 advanced economies have gathered to hear about U.S. President Donald Trump's economic policies.

The threat of a trade war is only one of several risks to the global economy, however.

Mnuchin said preliminary discussions have begun with Canada and Mexico to renegotiate NAFTA, a topic that came up for discussion during his one-on-one meeting with Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau. That divergence augurs for potential disagreements when the nations' leaders gather in Sicily later this month - an event which marks Trump's first major worldwide summit as U.S. President. "We're going to try to get this done as quickly as we can".

The closing statement from Bari will reiterate a warning against competitive devaluations, Italian officials said, as March's G20 did, allaying fears that the new U.S. administration might weaken the G20's united front on global currency policy.

They also vowed to cooperate more against cyber crime, finance the global anti-terror fight, and promote a fair tax system including digital economy.

"Inclusive growth means first of all that growth has to be shared with all segment and regions of society", Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said Friday. The group's agreements, presented in the form of a final statement, aren't legally binding; instead they represent the leaders' political commitment to follow through.

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