G-7 nations seek ways to make growth help more people

Japan's Finance Minister Taro Aso arrives for a G7 of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting, in Bari, southern Italy, Friday, May 12, 2017.

President Donald Trump has lashed out in a series of tweets amid a firestorm over the abrupt firing of FBI Director James Comey.

"We are agreed on many things. including on the fight against cyber crime which is unfortunately very timely", Padoan said on his arrival for Sunday's closing session.

Trump contradicts White House on reasons for Comey firing, calls ex-FBI director "showboat" and "grandstander".

Canada says Finance Minister Bill Morneau rejected US duties on softwood lumber as "baseless" in a meeting with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Financial ministers and bank governors pose for a family photo during the G7 for Financial ministers meeting in the southern Italian city of Bari, Italy May 13, 2017.

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G7 finance ministers and central bank governors attending a two-day meeting in Italy have said they want a better sense of the plans of U.S. President Donald Trump, who has threatened to upset the worldwide consensus of recent decades on issues such as trade and rules for the financial services industry.

"We must not backpedal on free trade as it has contributed to economic prosperity", Aso said.

The threat of a trade war is only one of several risks to the global economy, however.

Rome: Representatives of G7 nations are holding their first working session in Italy on Friday, focused on economic incentives for growth and financial regulation.

There is also some concern Mr. Trump's tax plan could push the country deeper into debt, raising questions over the administration's argument that cutting corporate tax levels to 15% from their current 35% rate will be financed by revenue generated by a higher pace of economic expansion. Officials from the big European economies, Canada and Japan remain concerned about a lack of visibility over how Trump plans to implement his ´America First´ agenda.

Mnuchin is taking the opportunity to lay out the Trump administration's views on trade.

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Since taking office, his administration has issued a report that names two G-7 countries, Germany and Japan, for special monitoring due to their large trade surpluses with the US and has sparked a trade battle with Canada, another G-7 country, by imposing higher tariffs on imports of Canadian softwood lumber.

"With Steven Mnuchin, our relations are improving every time we meet", Padoan said. The US government seems to be favouring a bilateral, rather than multilateral, approach to global affairs, which falls in line with Trump's idea of global trade as "reciprocal".

The U.S. Treasury Secretary's first G-7 outing came in the wake of an announcement a deal to boost the country's exports of gas and beef to China.

The head of an worldwide organization representing many advanced economies says that a new, multinational tax treaty will be of "massive consequence" in preventing big companies from avoiding taxes.

That divergence augurs for potential disagreements when the nations' leaders gather in Sicily later this month - an event which marks Trump's first major worldwide summit as U.S. President.

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