Economy

G7 Financial Leaders Vow More Cyber Cooperation

G7 Financial Leaders Vow More Cyber Cooperation

"We reaffirm our existing G7 exchange rate commitments to market-determined exchange rates and to consult closely in regard to actions in foreign exchange markets", it said.

The meeting of the Group of 7 finance ministers in the southern Italian seaside town of Bari kicked off Friday with a discussion with economists on how to make growth benefit more people.

"All the six others. said explicitly, and sometimes very directly, to the representatives of the USA administration that it is absolutely necessary to continue with the same spirit of global cooperation", Sapin told reporters at the end of the G7 meeting in southern Italy. "We don't want to be protectionist, but we reserve our rights to be protectionist if we don't believe trade is free and fair".

The topic was not included in the agenda for fear it might lead to a confrontation among ministers, considering the critical stand of U.S. President Donald Trump's administration towards global free trade agreements.

Separately, the group, which includes the US, also reiterated its commitment to global trade.

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".

As growing protectionism is feared under the administration of US President Donald Trump, the statement skipped any explicit wording on protectionism, as did a statement issued by Group of 20 finance chiefs in March.

In the final communique, the ministers and governors only mentioned that they were "working to strengthen the contribution of trade to our economies". Monetary policy should continue to support the economy, they said, while recognizing the world faces a prolonged period of modest growth and rising inequality.

Populist anger at trade, globalization and manufacturing job losses fueled Trump's ascent to the USA 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.

Bank of France Governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau said continued uncertainty about US policy could dampen optimism within the G-7 about the global economy's gradual recovery from the financial crisis that began almost a decade ago.

Trump will decide whether to quit the global Paris agreement on climate change - a campaign promise - after meeting leaders at a G7 summit on May 26-27, the White House has said.

Italian Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said that Saturday's morning session on cybercrime was "unfortunately very timely", an apparent reference to the wave of ransomware attacks reported Friday in dozens of countries in which files were locked and money demanded to unlock them.

The G-7 is composed of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the U.S.

A Group of Seven communique issued on Saturday said officials were "working to strengthen the contribution of trade to our economies" - a weaker pledge than the statement from the Group of 20 leaders previous year to avoid protectionism in all its forms.


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