US says global trade must be fair as well as free

BADEN-BADEN, GERMANY - The world's top economic powers have dropped a pledge to fully oppose trade protectionism amid pushback from the U.S. government of President Donald Trump, who wants to favor American companies and workers more.

Instead, finance ministers at a Group of 20 meeting in Germany issued a statement today saying that countries "are working to strengthen the contribution of trade" to their economies.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says the U.S. believes in free trade, despite the omission of a ban on protectionism in the joint statement from an international financial summit he attended.

The statement dropped language from previous G-20 statements that said countries should resist "all forms" of trade barriers.

Mnuchin said that language was "in the past" and "not really relevant."

He said: "We believe in free trade," but added "balanced trade needs to be what's good for us and what's good for other people, a win-win situation."

Mnuchin said the U.S. would work with international partners but review trade deals that disadvantage the U.S.: "It's free trade, balanced trade and fair trade."

© 2017 Associated Press


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