Canadian Finance Minister William Morneau, right, talks with President of the German Central Bank Jens Weidmann as they exit the Castle of Bari, venue of the G7 of Ministers of finance, in Bari, southern Italy, Friday, May.
The doubts over trade has seen the gathering in Bari tipped as being the venue for the latest battle of Bari, a fortified port on Italy's southern Adriatic coast that has seen many power tussles over the centuries.
The discussion on such topic came "very timely, unfortunately", Italian Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan noted at the meeting. "We are in the same world, all in the same boat".
As with his previous outings in Germany and Washington, Mnuchin is fronting up an economic agenda that leaves some in the worldwide community baffled and frustrated. Under the administration of Donald Trump, the USA are feeling disadvantaged in global trade, not least due to other major currencies being undervalued compared to the dollar and unfavourable trade deals that the United States had signed up to in the past 25 years.
Finance chiefs from numerous world's leading rich nations pressed the United States on Friday not to break a decades-long global consensus in areas such as trade and financial regulation criticised by US President Donald Trump. "But we reserve our rights to be protectionists to the extent that we believe that trade is not free and fair".
The final statement from the Bari meeting included a reference to "working to strengthen the contribution of trade to our economies", a word-for-word reproduction from March's G-20 in Baden-Baden, Germany.
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But in the run-up, officials from all seven members of the club of wealthy, industrialized nations have indicated that differences over Trump's plans to roll back the boundaries of free trade have been pushed to the sidelines. "Compared with a month or two months ago, the stiffness is gone".
Mnuchin said "this is a big priority for the president".
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Separately, Padoan said his relations with new U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin were "improving all the time", although there were naturally "differences" in some areas, as there are within the G7 in general. In the bilateral talks, Padoan assured his USA counterpart the stock of non-performing loans (NPLs) burdening Italy's banking system would return to more 'physiological levels in short time, Ansa news agency quoted sources from te Italian G7 presidency as saying. "I am quite confident that the development will continue, that the USA administration will engage more strongly in this process".
The deal would allow USA companies to ship liquefied natural gas to China and tackles a range of long-standing barriers, ending a ban on imports of US beef and moving a step closer to allowing Chinese poultry on American supermarket shelves.
"We recognize that cyber incidents represent a growing threat for our economies and that appropriate economy-wide policy responses are needed", the countries' finance ministers and central bankers said in the statement.