There have been pledges and promises to avoid protectionism but has the G7 meeting in Rome produced any thing specific?
Few details have emerged from the two day meeting other than an intention to maintain the principles of free trade. But in the face of the worst global crisis since the 1930s, perhaps realising we are all in this together is reassuring. Italy’s Finance Minister, Giulio Tremonti described the discussions as “very interesting” and went on to say that “everything pointed towards the conclusion that protectionism was negative”. Despite knowing his president’s stimulus package has a “buy American clause”, US Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner was also keen to keep the markets open. “All countries need to commit to sustained open trade and investment policies. This is absolutely critical to confidence,” said Geithner. So with a “united we stand message”, ministers can now look to April’s G20 summit in London. That meeting will include representatives from emerging economies and will have to deal with more diverse opinions.