Morocco Sees G-20 as Key to `Accelerate Private Investments in Africa

Top economies drop no-protectionism vow

In an early taste of what Donald Trump's "America First" push spells for the world, finance ministers from the G20 group of developed and emerging nations failed to get Washington to sign off on a pledge to reject protectionism in a closing statement.

"That's why I think we can do good business together", Aso told reporters.

There is still hope among advocates of free-trade that moderate voices in the Trump administration will gain influence.

One day earlier, Trump, standing beside German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the White House, complained about worldwide trade agreements and said that the US has gotten the short end of the stick in the past. Germany, the host of the G20 summit, is reliant on exports to maintain its robust economy. It will hope that by then the USA has decided what it wants to do with its role in a world order it has done more than any other country to shape.

"This is my first G20, so what was in the past communique is not necessarily relevant from my standpoint", Mnuchin said.

Host Germany dropped the no-protectionism pledge in the early drafting process ahead of the meeting in apparent hope of not antagonizing the USA and then finding a substitute that would also uphold free trade.

More news: Interview interrupted: Family speaks up after viral BBC interview

Carried to power on the back of a political storm over deindustrialization in vast areas of the U.S., Trump vowed in his inauguration speech to "follow two simple rules: buy American and hire American". "As highlighted in our discussion at the G20 High Level Tax Symposium, we emphasize the effectiveness of tax policy tools in supply-side structural reform for promoting innovation-driven, inclusive growth, as well as the benefits of tax certainty to promote investment and trade".

The G-20 is an informal forum on economic cooperation made up of 19 countries plus the European Union.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin after meeting with German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble in Berlin, Germany, March 16, 2017.

Mnuchin agreed to numerous meetings as he said he wanted to develop more relationships with his foreign counterparts.

"We will consult closely on exchange markets", they said. The company had been trying to restructure and said in February it faced a "going concern issue" if it did achieve a favorable outcome.

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