Mnuchin: Trump could ease restrictions on Huawei if trade talks advance

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After reports of rocky negotiations that almost aborted the issuance of a communique, finance ministers and central bank governors meeting in southern Japan affirmed language issued in Buenos Aires last December that offered tepid support for a rules-based multilateral trading system.

The G20 finance leaders said in a joint communique that risks from trade and geopolitical tensions were "intensifying".

The widening fallout from the US-China trade war has tested the resolve of the group to show a united front as investors worry if policymakers can avert a global recession.

Washington has put Huawei on a blacklist that effectively bans US firms from doing business with it, and has put pressure on its allies also to shut Huawei out, arguing that Huawei could use its technology to carry out espionage for Beijing.

Global growth appears to be stabilizing and is expected to pick up later this year and next year, the statement said.

International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde, who is also attending the meeting, has warned that tariffs and trade friction are "self-inflicted" wounds that will harm the global economy at a "delicate juncture".

"A worsening of the worldwide climate and a real trade war would lead to an even more marked slowdown in global growth, with a direct impact on our jobs, companies, factories and sectors", Le Maire told AFP in an interview on the sidelines of the meeting.

The new U.S. -Mexico-Canada deal has been heading toward a vote in Congress and might have been stymied by new tariffs.

Trump has said that he could impose more tariffs on China if it does not agree to his terms.

In a meeting that could offer a breakthrough, Mnuchin said Chinese President Xi Jinping and Trump are slated to meet at a Group of 20 summit later in June amid stalled talks.

Oil price drops back to $60
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $52.94 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, down 31 cents, or 0.6%. In the tug of war between demand concerns and falling supply, the latter is likely to emerge the victor .

In the second half of the day, the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors will meet behind closed doors to discuss a road map for a new global tax system that meets the demands of the digital age.

The IMF has calculated that U.S.

Mnuchin said that the United States is willing to resume trade talks since a breakdown in negotiations a month ago, but the US administration would keep raising tariffs if a deal isn't reached.

Trump has said he prefers deal-making on a country-to-country basis.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell (L) talks with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin during the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors meeting in Fukuoka on June 8, 2019. He gave no details.

The Trump administration began slapping tariffs on imports of Chinese goods almost a year ago, accusing Beijing of using predatory means to lend Chinese companies an edge in advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics and electric vehicles. That would be on top of tariffs of up to 25% on $250 billion in Chinese goods.

In separate comments this week, Fed Chair Jerome Powell and his No. 2, Richard Clarida, reassured nervous investors they're watching closely for signs that disputes between the USA and its trading partners are denting the outlook for the world's largest economy.

There was no immediate word from the Chinese side about the meeting between Yi and Mnuchin.

The world's top financial policymakers admitted Sunday that trade tensions had worsened, posing a risk for the global economy, after a G20 meeting that laid bare differences between the United States and other nations.

"We can not explain to a population that they should pay their taxes when certain companies do not because they shift their profits to low-tax jurisdictions", French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said at the panel. "We recognize our business community's call for the G20 to continue supporting the multilateral trading system".

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