U.S. Treasury's Mnuchin says Trump does not want trade wars | Reuters
By David Lawder and Michelle Martin | BERLIN BERLIN U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Thursday that the Trump administration has no desire to get into trade wars, but certain trade relationships need to be re-examined to make them fairer for U.S. workers.At a news conference with German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, Mnuchin said that President Donald Trump recognises the importance of trade for economic growth, but wanted it to benefit more U.S.
By David Lawder and Michelle Martin
BERLIN U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Thursday that the Trump administration has no desire to get into trade wars, but certain trade relationships need to be re-examined to make them fairer for U.S. workers.At a news conference with German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, Mnuchin said that President Donald Trump recognises the importance of trade for economic growth, but wanted it to benefit more U.S. workers and companies. "It is not our desire to get into trade wars," Mnuchin said. "The president does believe in free trade but he wants free and fair trade."The two finance ministers met for the first time ahead of a weekend meeting of top Group of 20 finance officials in Baden-Baden, Germany, amid worries about a pivot by the Trump administration towards greater trade protectionism.
Both ministers said the dialogue was constructive, and said they would work together through differences to promote growth and prosperity. "It was a good start," Schaeuble said of the meeting, adding that it was a positive sign for international cooperation and the G20 process, which Germany is hosting this year.
"We have found a good basis to talk openly about issues where we don't have the same stance from the outset," Schaeuble said.Mnuchin also reiterated his view that a strengthening dollar was good for the long run, but declined to comment on short term movements in the dollar. In recent weeks, he has said that short-term dollar spikes can be negative for the U.S. economy.
He said he was focussed on maintaining the dollar's reserve currency status."I believe that in the long-term best interests, the strengthening of the dollar is a good thing and I think that the long term strengthening of the dollar is a sign of confidence in the reserve currency," he said.Mnuchin declined to comment on the specific value of the euro, but said he recognised that many factors and countries influence its value. White House trade adviser Peter Navarro last month roiled markets when he said that Germany had unfairly benefited from an undervalued euro. (Additional reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)
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By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.