April 21, 2017
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Finance leaders from the Group of 20 major economies were expected to discuss ways to better combat the financing of terrorism on Friday, in part as a way to demonstrate the value of the group to the Trump administration.
The G20 session on the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank spring meetings comes just over a month after the group dropped an explicit pledge to fight against protectionism from the communique of its meeting in Baden-Baden, Germany, at the insistence of U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
The G20 is not expected to issue a new statement after Friday’s meeting, which comes amid tension between the Trump administration’s plans to shrink U.S. trade deficits and IMF warnings that increasing trade barriers will stunt economic growth.
British finance minister Philip Hammond told reporters that multilateral anti-terrorism initiatives were on the G20 agenda and that Britain supports them.
U.S. President Donald Trump has made efforts to stop the flow of money to terrorist groups and to sanctioned states such as North Korea a priority and has sought the help of other countries, including China.
Hammond said the anti-terrorism topic can help demonstrate to the Trump administration the value of cooperating through multilateral organizations.
“I think there is an appetite among G20, G7 partners to look for areas where we can demonstrate by our actions, rather than words, to the new U.S. administration how these multilateral organizations can help the U.S. administration to achieve its objectives,” Hammond told reporters at the British Embassy in Washington.
He said that there was a “healthy and helpful” recognition in the international community that Trump may need some persuasion about multilateral cooperation.
“The new administration comes into office with, shall we say, a degree of skepticism about the value of the multilateral organizations,” Hammond said. “It’s for the multilateral organizations to demonstrate their value.”
(Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Andrea Ricci)