Canada rejects US duties on lumber as 'baseless'

Later, French Finance Minister Michel Sapin said he and other ministers told Mnuchin not to weaken global policies that had been put together painstakingly over years and had helped the world economy recover from the financial crisis that broke almost a decade ago.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the United States reserved the right to be protectionist if it thought trade was not free or fair.

"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.

After two days of talks in a 12th century Norman castle, many delegations expressed a measure of relief.

Italian officials also said it's unclear whether G7 finance ministers will have anything specific to say on tax reform at the end of their meeting on Saturday.

The world has a question for the Trump administration: How are things going with Washington's plans to overhaul taxes?

Many G-7 countries had been particularly concerned about the USA rolling out a border tax that could choke exports to the country.

He said the Trump administration's economic policies aren't directly aimed at pursuing policies that would restrict trade, but rather are meant to spur US growth and aid the global economy.

The different positions of protectionist President Donald Trump and finance chiefs from the world's richest countries meant trade was downplayed at the latest meeting of the Group of Seven finance ministers and central bankers.

In his first comment on the trade deal´s substance, Mnuchin hailed the opening of China´s beef market as "a big deal for U.S. farmers".

The United States believes the world's other rich economies are getting used to the policy plans of President Donald Trump, but Europe and Japan remain anxious about Washington's shift.

The rhetoric caused alarm among other members of the G7 club of wealthy democracies, who are lobbying Trump's team to stick with the existing system of rules-based, largely liberalised global trade.

In their closing statement, the finance ministers warned that long-term growth could remain subdued and that steps need to be taken to make the global economy work for everyone.

Ministers are also trying to develop a strategy for "inclusive" economic growth-ensuring policies benefit the poor and middle class, and don't exacerbate growing income inequality-to counter a global political backlash against globalization.

Besides ministers and governors from the Group of Seven - comprising Canada, the U.S., France, Germany, Italy, Britain, and Japan, top officials from the European Union (EU) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) also joined the meeting. The Sessions memo marks the first significant criminal justice effort by the Trump administration to bring back the toughest practices of the U.S. war on drugs, which had fallen out of favour in recent years. Countries in the G-7 have committed in the past to avoid explicitly trying to weaken their own currencies.

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