The US was on Saturday singled out by some of its closest allies over the imposition of tariffs that they warn would undermine open trade and weaken confidence in the global economy.
The dispute over US President Donald Trump’s new levies on steel and aluminum imports is driving a wedge in the G7 group of industrial nations.
Following the conclusion of a three-day meeting of G7 finance ministers, Canadian Minister of Finance Bill Morneau issued a summary saying that the other six members want Trump to hear their message of “concern and disappointment” over the US trade actions.
Allies including Canada and the EU are threatening retaliatory tariffs.
The G7 ministers urged US Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin to deliver their message before leaders of the group’s member countries meet on Friday and Saturday in Quebec, adding that the US should abandon the tariffs ahead of the leaders’ summit before the move causes deeper divisions within the G7.
“The international community is faced with significant economic and security issues, which are best addressed through a united front from G7 countries,” said the summary, which was agreed to by the attending ministers.
“Members continue to make progress on behalf of our citizens, but recognize that this collaboration and cooperation has been put at risk by trade actions against other members,” it added.
French Minister of the Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire was blunt in his assessment of the Whistler, British Columbia, meeting, where ministers confronted Mnuchin.
“It has been a tense and tough G7 — I would say it’s been far more a G6 plus one than a G7,” said Le Maire, who called the tariffs unjustified.
“We regret that our common work together at the level of the G7 has been put at risk by the decisions taken by the American administration on trade and on tariffs,” he said.
Mnuchin disagreed with Le Maire.
“I think there was a comment out there that [this was] the G6 plus one. It was not... We believe in the G7, it’s an important group,” Mnuchin said at his own news conference. “I’m sure that the president looks forward to coming to Canada and meeting all the other leaders with many, many important issues going on throughout the world.”
Morneau, who presided at the ministerial meeting, said that even though the group found common ground on many subjects, G7 members are now forced to do whatever they can to persuade Trump to withdraw the tariffs.
“They actually are destructive, and that’s consistently held across the six countries that expressed their point of view to Secretary Mnuchin,” Morneau said.
The US tariffs are “absurd,” as Canadian metal sales are no security risk to the US and the measures would destroy jobs on both sides of the border, Morneau has said previously.
Le Maire said it is up to the US to take action to rebuild confidence among G7 members and to avoid any escalation during the upcoming leaders’ summit.
DEVELOPING TALENT: The electronics contractor is looking to recruit people to work in core tech fields and emerging industries like electric cars and robotics Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), the world’s largest contract electronics maker, has launched a recruitment drive, offering a monthly salary of no less than NT$45,000 (US$1,485) to university graduates. For those with a master’s degree, the starting pay would be NT$52,000 per month at the minimum, while doctorate degree holders would receive at least NT$60,000 a month, Hon Hai said a statement issued early this week. The latest recruitment drive is aimed at attracting talent in core technology fields — artificial intelligence, semiconductors and next-generation mobile communications — and emerging industries — electric vehicles, digital healthcare and robotics, the
NEW CONSIDERATIONS: An airline manager said the idea is tempting, as demand for air cargo is strong, but issues such as training loaders would need to be addressed Taiwanese airlines might repurpose passenger jets to carry cargo in their cabins to offset lost revenue amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Airlines are considering applying to the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) for permission to transport cargo in passenger cabins after StarLux Airlines Co (星宇航空) last month became the first among the nation’s airlines to offer cargo-only flights using the normal cargo holds of its three Airbus SE A321neo passenger jets. “We are considering whether to increase our capacity by putting cargo on passenger seats,” Starlux spokesman Nieh Kuo-wei (聶國維) told the Taipei Times by telephone. “The advantage is that we can improve revenue,
GLOBAL CUTS: CEO Warren East said the firm’s focus was on strengthening financial resilience, so it would likely reduce salary costs by at least 10% this year Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC is scrapping its targets and final dividend to shore up its finances as the British aero-engine maker’s customers around the world ground planes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Rolls-Royce, one of Britain’s most historic industrial names, which before the pandemic struck was trying to emerge from a multiyear turnaround plan, has suspended its dividend for the first time since 1987. The company’s engines power Airbus SE and Boeing Co’s widebody jets, but more than 60 percent of that fleet is now grounded, according to aviation data provider Cirium. Rolls-Royce is paid by airlines based on how many hours they fly. Over
PAINFUL CONTRACTION: Passenger loads in February on flights between Taiwan and China, Hong Kong and Macau fell by more than 90 percent compared with December Even with more than NT$450 billion (US$14.85 billion) in financial aid from the Executive Yuan’s expanded relief package, local tourism-related businesses are unlikely to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic any time soon, a central bank report released last month said. The NT$1.05 trillion relief package includes NT$472 billion in financial assistance for tourism and transportation sectors, such as airlines, hotels, travel agencies, taxis and tour buses. However, a March 20 central bank report said that the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on global and domestic economies are far greater than that of the 2002-2003 SARS epidemic, despite any benefits from delayed purchases