Japan, China, South Korea agree to resist United States protectionism

Ashley Carr
May 6, 2017

During a trilateral meeting in Yokohama, Japan, on Friday, finance ministers of the three countries agreed to resist all forms of protectionist policies obstructing free trade.

They "will continue high degree of communication and coordination among China, Japan and Korea to cope with possible financial instability in the context of increased uncertainty of global economy and geopolitical tensions", the communique said.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Aso did not elaborate on the Chinese minister's reasons for not attending, through he said Xiao did not attend due to "important policy issues" at home.

"Korea, China and Japan have announced a clear message that they will condemn any type of protectionism to guard the idea of free trade and we think this idea will be able to spread to even G-20 meetings", said Shim.

Furthermore, in an attempt to reduce the region's dependency on the U.S. dollar, Japan has proposed forming a currency swap fund worth $40 billion with Southeast Asian countries to reduce the financial stress linked to dollar fluctuations.

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The leaders also reaffirmed strengthening the role of the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization (CMIM) as part of the regional financial safety net and welcomed the fruits achieved in the first joint test run of the CMIM and the International Monetary Fund.

"We will resist all forms of protectionism", the communique said, keeping a line that was removed - under pressure from Washington - from a G20 communique in March when the group's finance leaders met in Germany.

The agreement on free trade was issued in response to Trump's calls to put America's interest first and pull out of multilateral trade agreements that he claims are damaging the United States economy.

The pledge came after a meeting of senior financial officials and central bankers of the three countries on the sidelines of an annual gathering of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Yokohama, eastern Japan, Yonhap news agency reported.

Other reports by My Hot News

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