How tariffs wiped out U.S. consumers' tax cut


US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Saturday that he did not see any impact on US growth from the trade conflict and that the government would take steps to protect consumers from higher tariffs.

However, the treasury secretary from the USA, which continues to threaten more tariffs on China if there is no trade deal, played down the risk of a global economic conflagration.

The IMF last week warned that while growth is still expected to improve this year and the next, the US-China tariff war could cut 0.5 per cent from global gross domestic product output next year, about the size of G-20 member South Africa's economy.

Japan's Finance Minister Taro Aso (C) stands with International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde (L) and Bank of Japan governor Haruhiko Kuroda (R) before a family photo of the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors meeting in Fukuoka on June 8, 2019.

President Trump on the timeline for a decision on additional China tariffs.

Finance ministers and central bank chiefs from the Group of 20 major economies met Sunday in Japan and indicated rising trade tensions between the USA and China was the main concern.

Speaking to American cable network CNBC on Sunday, Mnuchin said Trump will try to determine if his Chinese counterpart is willing to head towards what he calls the "right direction" to reshape the two sides' trade and commercial relationship.

After fiery negotiations that almost aborted the issuance of a communique, finance ministers and central bank governors meeting in southern Japan repeated tepid support for a rules-based multilateral trading system.

Mnuchin said that the United States is willing to resume trade talks since a breakdown in negotiations a month ago, but the USA administration would keep raising tariffs if a deal isn't reached.

"Global growth appears to be stabilizing and is generally projected to pick up moderately later this year and into 2020", the finance chiefs, including Mnuchin, said in an end-of-meeting communique.

U.S. Treasury chief Steven Mnuchin said Sunday that President Donald Trump would be "perfectly happy" to tax more imports from China if the U.S. leader can not reach a trade deal with Chinese President Xi Jinping when they meet later this month.

A Japanese official who declined to be named briefed reporters that "very many countries voiced concerns that escalation of the trade friction is a very significant downside risk to the world economy".

"We are not looking to rewrite the entire tax code, but we do need to look at the balance between what may be the issue in digital and perhaps how this new environment affects non-digital companies as well", he said. -China trade war has tested the resolve of the group to show a united front as investors worry if policymakers can avert a global recession. "If we can't, we will proceed with tariffs", he said.

"So I don't think in any way that the slowdown you are seeing in parts of the world are the result of trade tensions at the moment", he said.

"It is good, not just for the United States and Mexico, but also for the entire global economy", Haruhiko Kuroda told reporters.

He said the USA had "significant concerns" and stated "I don't like them".

Mnuchin also said that the Treasury was watching China's currency markets closely for signs of intervention, saying that the markets may have become accustomed to central bank support for the yuan.