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Japanese Finance Minister points to rifts with US over trade tariffs

The divergence over trade was reiterated as the US tries to pursue bilateral negotiations to fix trade imbalances with other nations

Toru Fujioka & Yoshiaki Nohara | Bloomberg 

Donald Trump
File photo of Donald Trump

Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso told US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that protectionism isn’t good, adding to tensions over policy between the two global economic powers.

US and clearly differ on their policies, Aso told reporters on Friday in Washington after attending the G-20 meeting of central bankers and finance ministers. The finance minister, who is in charge of Japan’s currency policy, said he and Mnuchin discussed foreign exchange in the context of the global

The divergence over was reiterated as the US tries to pursue bilateral negotiations to fix trade imbalances with other nations, while prefers a multilateral pact and hopes the US will rejoin Trans-Pacific Partnership. US President Donald Trump has sent mixed messages about the TPP.

The gathering came after the meeting between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Trump also highlighted their differences over trade earlier this week, leaving the premier with little to revive falling support for his administration amid a string of scandals.

Aso is also coming home to face pressure to step down as a land-sale scandal and sexual harassment allegations engulf the finance ministry. In Washington, he said he’s not considering resigning, but a political backlash could intensify after Aso attended his first G-20 gathering in a year despite failing to get parliament’s approval.

Earlier in the week in Washington, Bank of Governor Haruhiko Kuroda, who also attended the G-20 gathering, warned against trade protectionism, saying that it won’t be good for the world Kuroda, whose new term started this month, will be chairing the central bank’s monetary policy meeting on April 26-27.

First Published: Sat, April 21 2018. 22:28 IST
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