Global finance ministers seek reforms, guiding principles . . .
Finance ministers and central bankers from G20 countries met this weekend in Tsukuba, Japan, to discuss international trade and the global economy – but more importantly, to pave the way for the G20 Leaders Summit scheduled for June 28-29 in Osaka. The trade ministers highlighted the need to reform the WTO and to close loopholes used by global tech companies to reduce their corporate taxes. Ministers also agreed on guiding principles for using artificial intelligence and discussed the challenges posed by aging populations and decreasing birthrates.
U.S.-China tensions top agenda . . .
The row between the U.S. and China was clearly the main concern in Tsukuba. International Monetary Fund director Christine Laragarde warned that a failure to ease U.S.-China trade tensions could reduce the level of global GDP by 0.5 per cent in 2020, and called on G20 leaders to prioritize mitigating this risk to global growth.
Lead up to G20 Leaders Summit . . .
This meeting of finance ministers precedes the much-anticipated G20 Leaders Summit at the end of the month, where both U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are scheduled to discuss trade. President Trump has threatened to impose further tariffs on US$300 billion worth of Chinese goods if an agreement is not reached at the G20 meet. Should the U.S. go forward with its threat, a retaliation from China would follow, with long-term and damaging impacts for the global economy.