Europe

Global finance gathering struggles to define trade stance

  • U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, left, shakes hands with Lawrence Wong, Singaporean minister for national development, at the G20 finance ministers meeting in Baden-Baden, southern Germany, Friday, March 17, 2017. (Uwe Anspach/dpa via AP)

    U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, left, shakes hands with Lawrence Wong, Singaporean minister for national development, at the G20 finance ministers meeting in Baden-Baden, southern Germany, Friday, March 17, 2017. (Uwe Anspach/dpa via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Janet Yellen, president of the Federal Reserve Board, and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin talk to each others during the G20 finance ministers meeting in Baden-Baden, southern Germany, Friday, March 17, 2017. (Uwe Anspach/dpa via AP)

    Janet Yellen, president of the Federal Reserve Board, and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin talk to each others during the G20 finance ministers meeting in Baden-Baden, southern Germany, Friday, March 17, 2017. (Uwe Anspach/dpa via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • President of the German Central Bank Jens Weidmann, center, talks to US' Federal Reserve Board President Janet Yellen, left, and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin during the G20 finance ministers meeting in Baden-Baden, southern Germany, Friday, March 17, 2017. (Uwe Anspach/dpa via AP)

    President of the German Central Bank Jens Weidmann, center, talks to US' Federal Reserve Board President Janet Yellen, left, and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin during the G20 finance ministers meeting in Baden-Baden, southern Germany, Friday, March 17, 2017. (Uwe Anspach/dpa via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Financial officials from the world's biggest economies are struggling to define a common stance in the face of the Trump administration's skepticism about free trade.

Finance ministers from the Group of 20 countries comprising more than 80 percent of the global economy debated the wording of their final statement on trade expected Saturday at their summit in the southern German resort town of Baden-Baden.

Officials were talking about replacing the group's longstanding opposition to "all forms" of protectionism with new wording that would reflect U.S. concerns by adding a reference to "fair" trade as well.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says the U.S. is not seeking trade wars but has underlined Trump's willingness to review existing trade deals to make them more fair for U.S. workers.