G7 nations to agree joint fight against cyber attacks - draft

Whilst the message of the meeting was predominantly a repetition of the G20 meeting held in March, reiterating the nations' commitment to free trade, the US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin hinted the US no longer intends to contribute to strengthening global trade ties between nations, putting their own economic interest first.

Trump will decide whether to quit the global Paris agreement on climate change - a campaign promise - after meeting leaders at a G7 summit on May 26-27, the White House has said.

He felt people were becoming "more comfortable" with the goals of the new administration and said there had been much interest in Trump›s plans to slash taxes.

Mr Mnuchin said the opening-up of the market for beef sales to China was a "huge deal" for the administration and for United States farmers.

While trade was not specifically on the agenda, its presence loomed large as U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin came under pressure to engage on the matter.

Greece's creditors, including the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, will be in Bari.

The draft will be reviewed before publication later on Saturday by the G7 finance ministers and central bankers who are discussing issues facing the world economy at a two-day meeting in Bari, Italy.

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G7 finance ministers turned their focus Saturday to combating cyber crime in what Italy's Pier Carlo Padoan described as an "unfortunately very timely" discussion.

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.

Underscoring the cybersecurity threats, G-7 officials pointed to a massive attack that scrambled computer systems in dozens of countries on Friday. After Trump's criticisms of financial regulation and trade. "We are working to strengthen the contribution of trade to our economies", the statement read, stopping short of making a call for free trade or against protectionism.

The U.S.'s deal to boost exports of gas and beef to China - agreed on Friday - also gives an indication on how the world's biggest economy may progress going forward, according to German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told reporters.

Tense trade talks have dominated the meetings.

The statement also stressed the need for common practices to detect vulnerabilities in the global financial system.

Mnuchin said he "couldn›t be happier with the last two days".

G-7 governments-Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the USA -have struggled to turn their concern for inclusive growth into policy action, however.

A Group of Seven communique issued on Saturday said officials were "working to strengthen the contribution of trade to our economies" - a weaker pledge than the statement from the Group of 20 leaders past year to avoid protectionism in all its forms.

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