Send by email

your name: email to: message:
Username: Email: Password: Confirm Password:
Login with
Confirming registration ...

Edit your profile:

Country: Town: State:
Gender: Birthday:
Email: Web:
How do you describe yourself:
Password: New password: Repite password:

Thursday, March 22, 2018

US tariffs, bitcoin and Venezuela at core of G-20 meeting

Por Feco

Venezuela entered the meeting of the G-20 in a way its government won’t appreciate. A fund is proposed to support these escaping the country. The money will not enter Venezuela, which does not accept any type of IMF assistance. It will go to the host countries, especially those border areas where the situation is critical. Colombia alone has registered 340,000 Venezuelans.

The first major meeting of the G-20 in 2018 is marked by the tension among the US, China and the EU for the risk of commercial war due to the decision by Donald Trump to establish tariffs of 25% and 10% on steel and aluminum. The secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin, faced in Buenos Aires the unit of practically all the other members who pressed for the US not to approve these tariffs.

Several countries tried to include a message against unilateral policies that slow down growth. At the end of the first day of sessions, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said he spoke directly with US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on the matter to explain that while they acknowledge that there is an "excess of steel capacity in the market, "the solution" is not to introduce any unilateral measure or a trade war "with Europe. "I was very clear to Mnuchin: we expect that the European Union is totally exempt from these new American tariffs for steel and aluminum. Europe is not the source of the problem," said the French minister, referring to the subsidized industry from China, but without naming it.

The Argentine finance minister, Nicolás Dujovne, tried to host the agenda on other less controversial issues, but also met with Mnuchin to ask him to leave Argentina out of those tariffs, thus showing his concern. The same concern expressed by his German counterpart, Olaf Scholz. "We must ensure that protectionism does not determine the world scenario, but that open markets continue to do so," he said.

At the end of the day there was no doubt that the commercial issue had taken all the attention. Not that it wasn’t expected. "We talked about the risk of a trade war and the negative consequences it will have for the current climate of global economic growth," said the head of the German Bundesbank, Jens Weidmann. "It is clear that an escalation of this type will only bring losers in the end, which is why the majority position was that the conflicts are resolved according to the trading system based on the current rules," Weidmann added.

The meeting also focused on issues where there are also strong discussions between the US and others, such as how to regulate cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, and how to tax the profits of large technology multinationals such as Google and Facebook, based in USA but with dominion in all the planet. A topic with a strong political content was likewise inserted: the crisis in Venezuela.

A group of 15 countries, among which were the US, Japan, the five major European countries, including Spain, Argentina, Peru, Colombia, Chile and Paraguay, met to discuss measures against the Government of Nicolás Maduro and approved to propose the Monetary Fund International (IMF) to establish a fund to help countries that are receiving tens of thousands of refugees fleeing the economic crisis in Venezuela.