Trade disruptions, taxing tech companies are talk of G-20

FUKUOKA, Japan — How to reorder the global financial system in an era of trade stand-offs and technological change held the attention of financial officials from the Group of 20 major economies on Saturday.

The central bank governors and other financial regulators meeting in this southern Japanese port city flagged risks from upsets to the global economy as Beijing and Washington clash over trade and technology.

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U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said “no” when asked if other financial leaders attending the meetings in Fukuoka were raising concerns over the impact on global markets and trade from President Donald Trump’s crusade against huge, chronic U.S. trade deficits, especially with China.

But Mnuchin acknowledged that growth has been slowing in Europe, China and other regions.

“I’m hearing concerns if we continue on this path there could be issues. There will be winners and losers,” he said.

Trump and members of his administration contend that the ripple effects of the billions of dollars in tariffs imposed by Washington on Chinese exports over the past year are creating new business opportunities for other businesses in the U.S. and other countries.

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The G-20 officials were expected to express their support for adjusting monetary policy, for example by making borrowing cheaper through interest rate cuts, in a communique to be issued as meetings wrap up on Sunday.

Their official agenda on Saturday was focused on longer-term, more technical issues such as improving standards for corporate governance, policing cyber-currencies and reforming tax systems to ensure they are fair for both traditional and new, online-based industries.

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