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G20: Germany's 'isolationism' warning

Thursday, March 16, 2017 - 01:22

Amid talk of protectionism and trade barriers, central bank chiefs and finance ministers are preparing for this weekend's G20 summit in Germany. As Sara Hemrajani reports, the host nation is warning against policies that would harm globalisation.

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Free trade and open markets - once the core pillars of G20 agreements, now the source of controversy. The world's top finance ministers and central bankers will be meeting this Friday and Saturday. It's their first gathering since Donald Trump's victory, and the prospect of his protectionist 'America First' stance. That's already got summit host Germany firing a warning shot against trade barriers. (Soundbite) Wolfgang Schaeuble, German Finance Minister, saying (English): "Isolationism is always the wrong choice. It can be very tempting in the short term but in the long run it only serves to undermine trust, destroy wealth and damage societies." Support for continued globalisation also being echoed by Schaeuble's colleagues in Frankfurt. (Soundbite) Jens Weidmann, Bundesbank President, saying (English): "Free trade and competition result in a quantifiable increase in prosperity, particularly for those who have to consider their spending carefully. Moreover, spurred by international competition, industries are more innovative and new ideas are spread more rapidly." Other items on the G20 agenda will include currency moves, financial regulation and tax fraud.

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G20: Germany's 'isolationism' warning

Thursday, March 16, 2017 - 01:22