Mnuchin: US partners more comfortable with Trump on trade

United States Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, center, leaves at the end of a plenary session during a G7 of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting, in Bari, southern Italy, Friday, May 12, 2017.

"We are agreed on many things. including on the fight against cyber crime which is unfortunately very timely", Padoan said on his arrival for Saturday's closing session.

The secretary arrived in Bari saying he was "excited" about US trade policies after the announcement of a deal to boost exports of gas and beef to China, an agreement that was also noted by German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble. While holding firm on that despite attempts to persuade him to give ground, Mnuchin said his colleagues were gaining a better understanding of what President Trump's policies mean for the USA and the rest of the world.

They also say the United States demand to balance trade bilaterally was not economically sound, because trade deficits and surpluses could only be analysed in a global context.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Saturday after meeting with officials from the world's other industrialized democracies that he thought they were more at ease with Donald Trump's economic policies.

But in the run-up, officials from all seven members of the club of wealthy, industrialised nations have indicated that differences over Trump's plans to roll back the boundaries of free trade have been pushed to the sidelines.

Mnuchin said a trade deal announced Friday with China showed the success of the Trump administration's trade approach.

"I think that there was no disagreement over the fact that trade promotes growth and has to be inclusive", Italian Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said on Bloomberg Television.

They called for common shared practices to spot quickly any vulnerabilities in the world's financial system and stressed the importance of effective measures to assess cyber security among individual financial firms and at sector level.

International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde arrives for the opening session of the G7 of Finance ministers in Bari, southern Italy, Friday, May 12, 2017. The Treasury secretary said the administration's commitment to economic growth of 3 per cent would be good for the U.S. and for the global economy.

The G20's reference to trade said only that they were "working to strengthen the contribution of trade to our economies".

European officials complained that the US meaning of "fair trade" remained unclear and that the only way to establish fairness was to abide by the multilateral framework developed by the World Trade Organization.

According to French Finance Minister Michel Sapin, all the other rich countries unanimously called on U.S. to respect global trade.

Attention also focused on Trump's plans to cut USA corporate taxes.

However, the G7 promised to step up their work to try to prevent repetitions of the assault which leveraged hacking tools believed to have been developed by the US National Security Agency, infecting tens of thousands of computers.

Michel Sapin, France's minister for finance, said the other delegations had put pressure on the U.S. to not turn its back on global economic diplomacy.

The group's agreements aren't legally binding; instead, they represent the leaders' political commitment to follow through.

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