85°F
weather icon Clear

G-20 finance officials pledge to protect global growth

FUKUOKA, Japan — Finance ministers and central bank chiefs from the Group of 20 major economies wrapped up a meeting in Japan on Sunday with a pledge to use all the policies they can to protect global growth from disruptions due to trade and other tensions.

The G-20 finance leaders said in a joint communique that risks from trade and geopolitical tensions were “intensifying.” They did not refer directly to the tariffs war between the United States and China, though leaders participating in the meetings indicated it was the No. 1 concern.

“We will continue to address these risks, and stand ready to take further action,” the statement said. “We reaffirm our commitment to use all policy tools to achieve strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth, and safeguard against downside risks.”

Global growth appears to be stabilizing and is expected to pick up later this year and next year, the statement said.

But there was an evident rift between most participants in the meeting and the U.S., which has shifted away from support for tackling issues in multilateral forums such as the World Trade Organization in favor of a country-by-country “America First” approach.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said the current global slowdown was linked to political issues, “especially trade tensions.”

“So it’s high time that we put an end to those tensions and we should avoid trade wars which would have real deep negative impact and long-term impact on global growth,” he said.

He urged China and the U.S. to resolve their disputes through the WTO, saying it “is only within the multilateral framework that we can find long-term solutions for present trade tensions.”

Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, likewise was blunt in warning of the potential toll from the tit-for-tat tariff hikes and other retaliatory moves between Washington and Beijing with talks on resolving their dispute in a stalemate, saying that the “road ahead remains precarious.”

“The principal threat stems from continuing trade tensions,” said Lagarde, adding that the IMF estimates the tariffs could reduce the level of global GDP by 0.5 percent in 2020, or about $455 billion.

“To mitigate these risks, I emphasized that the first priority should be to resolve the current trade tensions — including eliminating existing tariffs and avoiding new ones — while we need to continue to work toward the modernization of the international trade system,” Lagarde said.

Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso appeared to have wearied of the issue by the end of the meetings.

“The China-U.S. issue is all you ask about. We have plenty of other issues that we need to consider,” he said.

While they urged the U.S. to stick to the international rules that it spent decades promoting before President Donald Trump took office, the officials both in the southern Japanese city of Fukuoka and at parallel talks on trade and the digital economy in Tsukuba, near Tokyo, said there is a consensus on the need to revamp the WTO to bring it more in line with the digital economy realities of the 21st century.

Trump has said he prefers deal-making on a country-to-country basis. While there is no sign Beijing and Washington are ready to resume trade talks that stalled last month after 11 rounds of negotiations, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he had a constructive meeting Sunday with China’s central bank Gov. Yi Gang on the sidelines of a financial leaders’ meeting in Fukuoka.

In a Twitter post that showed the two clasping hands, Mnuchin said he and Yi “had a candid discussion on trade issues.” He gave no details.

Mnuchin told reporters that he expected that any major progress in resolving the impasse would likely come at a meeting of Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping during the G-20 summit in late June in Osaka, Japan.

Trump has yet to decide, Mnuchin said, on whether to impose more 25% tariffs on $300 billion worth of Chinese exports. That would be on top of tariffs of up to 25% on $250 billion in Chinese goods. Together they would encompass almost everything China exports to the U.S.

There was no immediate word from the Chinese side about the meeting between Yi and Mnuchin.

At the meeting of trade and economy ministers in Tsukuba, a government research hub, the officials endorsed a similar set of recommendations, while also issuing a mild call to “handle trade tensions and to foster mutually beneficial trade relations.”

“We strive to realize a free, fair, non-discriminatory, transparent, predictable and stable trade and investment environment, to keep our markets open,” they said. “We recognize our business community’s call for the G20 to continue supporting the multilateral trading system.”

Japan, the world’s third-largest economy, is hosting the G-20 for the first time since it was founded in 1999.

The venue for the annual financial meeting, Fukuoka, is a thriving regional hub and base for startups. Much attention at the G-20 meetings this year has focused on how to adapt tax systems and regulation to the increasingly digital nature of business.

While Mnuchin and other officials made it clear that they disagreed on the details of how to do that, the officials said they had agreed that the G-20 and Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development would work together on drawing up an agreement by the end of 2020.

The G-20 group includes Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
The Right Take: Biden's Racially Questionable Comments
Joe Biden has uttered racially charged statements for years. Now that he’s the frontrunner for the Democrat presidential nomination, he may finally face prolonged scrutiny for them.
Christopher Rufo Discusses Homelessness In The USA - VIDEO
Christopher Rufo discusses homelessness in the United States and how politicians can work to improve conditions for those with drug addictions.
Clark County 2019 Election Results - Video
The 2019 Elections wrap up in Clark County including an upset in the Boulder City Mayor race.
Olivia Diaz talks about her win in Ward 3 - VIDEO
Las Vegas City Councilwoman-elect Olivia Diaz talks about her election win in Ward 3 and what lies ahead for her.
Greene discusses Read by 3 and Opportunity Scholarships - VIDEO
The Nevada Legislative Session is over and the results are mixed for Nevada students, according to Tom Greene, Senior regional legislative director, Excel in Ed in Action.
Bernie Sanders visits Las Vegas
Sen. Bernie Sanders made a stop at Roy W. Martin middle school on Thursday, during his campaign trail.
Kamala Harris campaigns in Las Vegas
Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris castigated President Donald Trump’s merit-based immigration plan, saying it was “short-sighted” and overlooked the cultural significance of family, during a campaign stop in Las Vegas. “We cannot allow people to start parsing and pointing fingers and creating hierarchies among immigrants,” Harris told Asian Pacific Islander leaders at a Chinatown restaurant, one of two appearances she made Thursday.
The Right Take New Education Funding Plan - VIDEO
On Monday, Senate Education Committee chair Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas, released a new education funding formula. For years, many Democrat politicians have criticized the current education funding formula, called the Nevada Plan. They claim it’s old and outdated. Their biggest beef is that it doesn’t allocate more money for students who are English Language Learners or live in poverty. The theory is that it’s harder to educate those students and so they need additional services, which costs additional money.
Kamala Harris campaigns in Nevada
California Senator Kamala Harris meets with One APIA Nevada, a nonprofit organization that advocates for policies empowering Asian Pacific Islander Nevadans. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ben Carson talks housing (Audio only)
Ben Carson discusses housing with the Review-Journal editorial board on Thursday. (Audio only)
Ben Carson visits the RJ (Full Audio Only)
Ben Carson discusses housing with the Review-Journal editorial board on Thursday. (Audio only)
Former Vice President Joe Biden campaigns in Nevada
After campaigning at the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 16 in Henderson, former Vice President Joe Biden spoke with the Review-Journal.
Student serenades Mayor Carolyn Goodman at swearing in
Students from the school she founded, The Meadows School, serenaded Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman during a swearing in ceremony for her third and final term. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Al Gore Speaks At UNLV About Climate Change - Video
Former Vice President of the United States Al Gore talks to an audience at UNLV about the effects of Climate change and how to switch to renewable sources of energy.
Forum on Wages and Working People Highlights - VIDEO
Presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren, Beto O'Rourke, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Julian Castro, and John Hickenlooper speak in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Nevada Politics Today Valerie Weber - VIDEO
Valerie Weber sits down with Victor Joecks to discuss her policies and why she is running for Ward 2 of the Las Vegas City Council.
Cory Booker speaks at UNLV
US Senator Cory Booker speaks at UNLV during a Young Democrats meet and greet on Thursday, April 18, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
May-Brown describes why some with disabilities need the subminimum wage - VIDEO
Eliminating the subminimum wage will end training and work opportunities for some members of the disabled community. Instead of doing something productive, they would be relegated to adult day care. That’s according to Tracy May-Brown, Opportunity Village’s director of advocacy, board and government relations.
Commission’s decision will delay Red Rock Canyon development
The Clark County Commission Wednesday rejected a developer’s request to approve a preliminary plan for 3,000 homes overlooking Red Rock Canyon before a federal agency grants permission for a roadway leading to the site.
Clark County commissioner calls on landlords to bring properties up to code
Clark County Commissioner Tick Segerblom has called on landlords in older parts of the valley to bring their properties up to code and keep them well-maintained or face the prospect of inspections, fines and citations. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Harry Reid speaks out against anti-Semitism
Unnerved by the rise in anti-Semitic hate speech and the general pervasiveness of bigotry, including in Nevada, former U.S. Sen. Harry Reid organized an educational forum at UNLV on Thursday as part of his call to unite people against it. (Shea Johnson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
President Trump speaks to the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas
President Donald Trump spoke at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s National Leadership Meeting in Las Vegas and updated on Israeli relations. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trump says border wall will have 'hundreds of miles' built by end of next year
President Donald Trump spoke at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s National Leadership Meeting in Las Vegas and discussed the progress of the border wall and the current relations there. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Protesters disrupt Trump's speech
Just as President Donald Trump started to make his opening remarks during his appearance at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s National Leadership Meeting, protesters disrupted his speech. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Roerink On The Problems With Taking Water From Eastern Nevada - Video
The Southern Nevada Water Authority wants to take billions of gallons of water that doesn’t exist from Eastern Nevada via a pipeline that would cost ratepayers $15 billion. Doing so would devastate the wildlife and people who live there. That’s according to Kyle Roerink, executive director of the Great Basin Water Network, which opposes the pipeline.
Las Vegas Election Night Wrap-Up
The Review-Journal's Politics and Government Editor, Steve Sebelius, wraps up election night. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Olivia Diaz Speaks To Ward 3 Supporters After Primary Election - Video
Olivia Diaz speaks to her supporters at a election party after results started coming in for the Ward 3 primaries.
Oscar Goodman Speaks On Behalf Of Mayor At Primary Win (edited)
Oscar Goodman spoke Tuesday night on behalf of his wife, Carolyn, who won the mayoral primary election. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Oscar Goodman Speaks On Behalf Of Mayor At Primary Win (Full)
Oscar Goodman spoke Tuesday night on behalf of his wife Carolyn, who won the mayoral primary election. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Gun Debate Shows Limits Of Government - Video
On Monday, the Assembly and Senate Judiciary Committees held a joint hearing on Assembly Bill 291. It would ban bump stocks and allow local governments to pass additional restrictions on firearms.
Lucy Flores speaks out about Biden incident
Former Nevada assemblywoman, Lucy Flores, expresses her feelings about an incident with former Vice President Joe Biden in 2014. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @Vegas88s
Harry Reid takes the stand in injury lawsuit
Former U.S. Sen. Harry Reid took the stand on Thursday in the product liability lawsuit brought against the makers of a resistance exercise band that Reid blames for blinding him in one eye.
THE LATEST
Mueller agrees to testify before 2 House panels next month

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff announced the move in a joint statement.

Kellyanne Conway will skip Hatch Act hearing

Kellyanne Conway, an adviser to President Trump, won’t testify at a hearing called to examine the Office of Special Counsel’s recommendation that she be fired for engaging in political activity while working as a federal employee.

9/11 first responders say McConnell pledges vote on bill

The meeting came two weeks after comedian Jon Stewart, a longtime advocate for 9/11 responders, offered withering criticism of Congress at a public hearing.

Fed chairman says economy facing growing uncertainties

Jerome Powell said the Fed is now grappling with the question of whether those uncertainties will continue to weigh on the outlook and require action.

US government investigates poultry price-fixing claims

The suit claims the companies shared information through a third-party data firm and restricted supply by destroying breeder hens on several occasions.