As trade tensions worsened and China’s slowdown damages the global growth position, Japan needed help from Group of 20 counterparts in strengthening the coordination and addressing possible risks to the world economy.
Japan wants to intensify talks regarding the global imbalances being this year’s chair on the gathering of G20 major economies. To divert Washington’s attention, it has done efforts in reducing bilateral trade imbalances and stave off U.S. pressure to negotiate two-way trade deals.
On Thursday, after the G20’s dinner, Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said in news reports, “I told my G20 counterparts that the group must act with the spirit of global coordination.”
He also added, “I explained that global coordination must be strengthened to address the various problems we face.”
On discussions with global imbalances, a Japanese finance ministry official said the G20 was an ideal platform.
The official said, “There was no disapproval to the argument that to address imbalances, global policy coordination was crucial.”
The International Monetary Fund recognized risk by cutting predictions on its global economic forecasts and by protecting trade tensions business sentiments get upset.
Washington was distanced from multilateralism by US President Donald Trump and prefers bilateral trade negotiations over a multilateral approach.
On Friday, proposed topics of Japan will be debated by G20 finance leaders including global imbalances and steps to deal with demographic challenges.
The Japanese said a communique will not be issued after the meeting.
In Washington on April 15-16, the G20 gathering comes before the first round of trade talks between Japan and the United States.
Nearly two-thirds of Japan’s $69 billion trade surplus with the United States comes from auto exports which is not good news for the US President. He wants to have a two-way agreement in addressing it.
Narrowing fundamental differences won’t be easy. One of the longest-serving G20 finance ministers, Aso was warned against the gratification on U.S-China trade negotiations.
Aso said, “I don’t think they can reach a conclusion so easily. It will take a long time.”
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