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G7 finance chiefs hoping to gauge Trump's plans

Friday, May 12, 2017 - 01:54

Finance chiefs from the G7 begin a two-day meeting in Italy, with Europe, Japan and Canada hoping to come away with a clearer picture of U.S. President Donald Trump's direction on important policies that he has yet to spell out. Ciara Lee reports.

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Finance ministers and key central bankers gathering in Italy. The G7's official agenda may be a focus on inequality, tax rules and cyber security - but they're really hoping to come away with a clearer picture of Donald Trump's policy plans. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin might be able to shed some light. He'll be briefing his counterparts on the administration's plans to revamp the U.S. tax system. Trump's threat to the group's consensus though is more pressing. He's still to decide whether to quit the global Paris agreement on climate change - a campaign promise. And protectionism fears around trade are lingering. (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) CITY INDEX, MARKET ANALYST, KEN ODELUGA, SAYING: "No one really, including the United States wants the trade issue to become so overheated that it become destructive. But of course it's going to be a compromise. We're not expecting to see any creeping back towards the derogation of protectionism. We think that's still going to remain." Arriving at the meeting Mnuchin said he was "excited" about the Trump administration's trade policies after the U.S. and China announced a series of trade measures, including a beef export deal. (SOUNDBITE) (English) US TREASURY SECRETARY, STEVEN MNUCHIN, SAYING: " I think you probably saw last night we made an announcement of a 100-day economic plan with the Chinese so I think we are very happy with how we are proceeding on trade." But Trump won't dominate the entire meeting. Greek debt is also on the agenda, ahead of a euro zone finance ministers meeting this month. The IMF is pushing for rapid debt relief measures, but euro zone governments say this is still premature. Italy the host will also be under scrutiny during bilateral talks. The finance minister is seeking to reassure Mnuchin about the state of Italy's banks. They're saddled with about 350 billion euros of bad debt, a third of the euro zone's total.

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G7 finance chiefs hoping to gauge Trump's plans

Friday, May 12, 2017 - 01:54