Finance leaders from the Group of 20 (G20) are in agreement that global trade and geopolitical tensions are getting worse, insiders told news agencies on Sunday.
Reuters news agency has reported G20 leaders have agreed to describe ballooning trade tensions as “intensified,” citing three insiders.
Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso, hosting the talks, told reporters the world economy should “firm” in the second half of the year but “downside risks still remain.”
Aso went on say “market confidence could be eroded” if China and the US did not resolve their ongoing trade war.
International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde said trade tension was the “major” headwind facing the global economy, telling Japan’s Nikkei daily it was a “significant risk on the horizon.”
And French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told Agence France-Presse there was a “real risk” that “this global economic slowdown could turn into a global economic crisis due to trade tensions.”
“A worsening of the international climate and a real trade war would lead to an even more marked slowdown in global growth, with a direct impact on our jobs, companies, factories and sectors,” he said.
Finance ministers and central bank governors were working toward a final communique from the meeting, but were reportedly struggling to find agreement at the start of the two-day meeting.
Read more: Trade war ‘hasn’t made America great again,’ says China
However, as Reuters reported, a text has more or less been finalized, reportedly reading in part: “Most importantly, trade and geopolitical tensions have intensified.”
Also, G20 leaders “will continue to address these risks and stand ready to take further action,” the source told Reuters. “We reaffirm our leaders’ conclusion on trade at the Buenos Aires summit.”
The Buenos Aires meeting in December won a five-month trade-war truce between Washington and Beijing, but ongoing talks hit an impasse last month, prompting another round of tariffs.
aw/cmk (AFP, Reuters, AP)
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