OECD says new deal will help fight tax avoidance


Italians in Bari have protested against a summit of finance ministers and top bankers of the Group of Seven (G7) industrial countries, blaming the group for global poverty and social inequality.

"When he came to Baden-Baden, his comments were tentative - probably because it was his first global meeting and it was soon after he started", Japan's Finance Minister Taro Aso told reporters.

Brazil has declared an end to a national emergency over the Zika virus, which was detected in the Latin American country late in 2015 before becoming a global concern.

Trump has proposed slashing the US corporate income tax rate and offer multinational businesses a steep tax break on overseas profits brought back to the U.S. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a group representing many advanced economies, has urged the U.S.to lower its corporate tax rate.

Aso told Mnuchin that it is necessary to recognize the situation is a crisis.

At a meeting in March of the larger Group of 20 finance ministers in Germany, ministers dropped their traditional pledge to keep global free trade open, bowing to an increasingly protectionist United States.

Mnuchin was not present at the early Friday session of the G7 meeting, joining his colleagues later and holding bilateral talks with his Italian, German and Japanese colleagues, among others.

"People are much more comfortable today now that they've had the opportunity to spend time with me and listen to the president and listen to the economic message on what the economic agenda is, and that's about creating growth in the United States", Mnuchin told reporters after the meeting. Considering the lacklustre global recovery in the free trade era of 2010-2016, the USA representatives are even more convinced that domestic growth comes first.

"We want to have balanced trade", Mr Mnuchin said.

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A confrontation over the language in the G20 communique of 2016 to "avoid protectionism in all its forms" led to an embarrassing step-down for hosts Germany.

The discussions will be private and are expected to last for four hours. A Canadian ministry statement called it a "productive discussion" and that Canada committed to working out a durable solution.

Tense trade talks have dominated the meetings.

The China deal, securing better access to the big Chinese market for USA beef, natural gas and some financial services, was welcomed by Mnuchin.

While formal negotiations have yet to begin, Mnuchin expressed optimism that the countries would be able to fix the trade agreement in a way that would be a win for all three countries.

But ministers from the other G7 countries made it clear they did not share the USA secretary's view.

The Italian G7 presidency has listed security as a "global public good" - including issues related to anti-terrorism financing, remittances and cyber security - and one of its four finance priorities.

According to French Finance Minister Michel Sapin, all the other rich countries unanimously called on United States to respect global trade.

"We will work to lift actual and potential growth, while ensuring that the fruits of economic growth are shared more widely", the G7 communique read.