Japan Aso says gradually seeing the course of US policies

Japan Aso says gradually seeing the course of US policies

The two officials did not discuss currency issues during their meeting in Bari, southern Italy, Aso told reporters after the talks, held on the fringe of a two-day meeting of the Group of Seven finance ministers and central bank heads from Friday.

"We see value in combining pro-inclusive growth fiscal policy with structural policies to safeguard macroeconomic stability", they said.

Officials from the Group of Seven are also taking the opportunity to hear more about the Trump administration's economic proposals from U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Their statement on the global economic threat posed by cyberattacks was released a day after tens of thousands of computers in some 100 countries were infected through a cyberattack.

They include faster-than-expected USA interest rate increases, which could affect some developing economies by triggering an outflow of capital and investment, and China's reliance on excessively rapid credit expansion for growth.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is to explain Trump's plans to cut business taxes and regulation, as well as the president's push for what he considers more balanced trading relationships.

European Finance Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said he hoped the United States administration would stick with the existing system of rules-based, largely liberalised global trade. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a group representing many advanced economies, has urged the U.S.to lower its corporate tax rate.

The senior Japanese official said pro-EU Emmanuel Macron's victory in the French presidential election was injecting optimism into G-7 discussions on the world economy and financial markets.

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According to French Finance Minister Michel Sapin, all the other rich countries unanimously called on U.S. to respect global trade. "We have to do that in a more profound way. and I think that is what is going on", he said.

He said the administration was focused on growth, "and growth in the United States is good for the world economy".

The statement also stressed the need for common practices to detect vulnerabilities in the global financial system.

Instead in the two-day meeting in the southern Italian port city of Bari they have been focusing on inequality, global tax rules and cyber security but Germany's Wolfgang Schaeuble had a message for Washington.

"The emphasis was initially on a border tax, which is taxation, but also trade policy", said Italian Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan in an interview.

Trade issues were pushed to the sidelines in Bari, with host Italy seeking to find areas of overlap between Trump's still vague agenda, and the priorities of Washington's chief European partners (Britain, France, Germany, Italy), as well as Canada and Japan.

The agreements, presented in the form of a final statement, are not legally binding but they represent the leaders' political commitment to follow through.

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