G-7 Statement Will Refer to Currencies and Trade, Officials Say

G-7 Finance Chiefs Meet on Trade, Currencies and Economy

Group of Seven finance chiefs and central bankers will this week reaffirm a commitment to avoid competitive devaluations while repeating recent language on trade, Italian Treasury officials said on Friday.

The officials meeting in the southern Italian port of Bari are likely to use similar wording to the Group of Twenty communique in March, when the U.S. fought back against an attempt to preserve the previous consensus in favor of free trade. After a fraught discussion in the German spa town of Baden-Baden, ministers agreed that they are “working to strengthen the contribution of trade to our economies” -- much weaker language than previous statements explicitly rejecting of protectionism.

In March, they also restated their “previous exchange rate commitments, including that we will refrain from competitive devaluations and we will not target our exchange rates for competitive purposes.”

G-7 ministers and governors are meeting on Friday and Saturday in Italy, two weeks before U.S. President Donald Trump’s first international summit in Sicily. Italy holds the G-7 presidency for 2017.

— With assistance by Alessandra Migliaccio

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