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G-20 members voice concerns about rising protectionism

  • March 20, 2018
  • , Nikkei Asian Review , 12:45 p.m.
  • English Press

Meeting begins amid worries over US tariffs and growing risk of a trade war


TAISEI HOYAMA, Nikkei staff writer


BUENOS AIRES — Concerns over protectionism and how it could harm the world economy were discussed at the latest G-20 meeting, which kicked off in the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires on Monday.


The meeting included finance ministers and central bank governors from 20 countries and regions, including Japan, the U.S. and the European Union, as well as emerging economies.


A number of participants voiced concerns over protectionism as the U.S. readies to impose tariffs on steel imports on Friday. Many warned the U.S., arguing that protectionist measures could lead to a trade war, which in turn could harm the global economy.


The meeting marks the first time representatives of the world’s major economies have gathered since U.S. President Donald Trump declared on Mar. 8 that the U.S. intends to slap tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.


The meeting is scheduled to end on Tuesday afternoon a joint statement is adopted.


According to a member of the Japanese delegation, a number of participants cited protectionism as a risk to the global economy. Though not directly naming the U.S., the members apparently sent warnings about the country readying to introduce import restrictions on the grounds of national security, the official said.


Japanese Vice Finance Minister Minoru Kihara told the meeting that “inward-looking, protectionist measures would shrink the global economy and not benefit any country.”


Many participants also voiced concern about excess production, apparently in reference to China.


As for the U.S. administration’s call on countries like China and Japan to reduce trade surpluses with the U.S. through bilateral agreements, some members argued that trade imbalances should be corrected through multilateral talks.

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