March 20, 2018 / 4:03 PM / a year ago

Global trade war biggest concern at G20 meeting: German minister

Germany's Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (L) listens to Argentina's Central Bank President Federico Sturzenegger as they pose for the official photo at the G20 Meeting of Finance Ministers in Buenos Aires, Argentina, March 19, 2018. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci

BERLIN (Reuters) - Concerns about a global trade war dominated this week’s meeting of finance ministers from the G20 largest industrialized nations in Argentina, German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz told reporters traveling home with him.

Scholz said a large majority of participants expressed concerns about a further escalation in the wake of planned U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum, and underscored the importance of continuing to warn against “protectionist tendencies”.

“It was a success that there were discussions about it,” Scholz said, citing talks with the United States. “That at least marks some progress.”

German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier also struck an upbeat tone after meetings with U.S. officials including Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

“On the way home from Washington. Good discussions with Ross, Lighthizer, senators, companies. Agreement is possible if we want,” he wrote on Twitter.

Reporting by Gernot Heller; Writing by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Paul Carrel

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