Finance Ministers of G20 countries discussing fair tax reforms to boost growth

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Saturday talks on trade war with China are unlikely to resolve anything before the G-20 summit later this month.

He said that if China wants to resume the negotiations on the basis of the texts prior to an early May breakdown of talks, the United States side is ready to engage.

"To mitigate these risks, I emphasized that the first priority should be to resolve the current trade tensions - including eliminating existing tariffs and avoiding new ones - while we need to continue to work toward the modernization of the global trade system", Lagarde said.

Finance ministers and central bank chiefs from the Group of 20 major economies met Sunday in Japan and indicated rising trade tensions between the USA and China was the main concern.

Nevertheless, Mnuchin also pointed to the positive boost to the world economy that could result from a breakthrough in trade talks, likely to be the main focus of a meeting between the USA and Chinese leaders at a G20 summit later this month.

The Trump administration is taking steps to impose 25 per cent tariffs on the remaining US$300 billion worth of Chinese imports so far untouched by the trade war between the world's two largest economies.

Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso says there must be "no big losers" due to the reforms, which he says could be the most significant in a century. "The European Union was pushing for some advance on the trade side, which was extremely unlikely, and the U.S. looked in such a confrontational mood just before the meeting, so it was a really open question how it would go".

"The strong setback to world trade growth at the end of 2018 and the damage from the trade war will make 2019 the worst year for trade since the financial crisis, with only 0.2 percent growth", it said in its report.

"This is not a negotiating meeting", Mr Mnuchin said.

"Although I don't like them, I do appreciate the impetus for these issues", added the top USA finance official. I don't believe that's as a result of trade tensions.

The widening fallout from the US-China trade war has tested the resolve of the group to show a united front as investors worry if policymakers can avert a global recession.

The central bank governors and other financial regulators meeting in Fukuoka flagged risks from upsets to the global economy as Beijing and Washington clash over trade and technology.

"So now we need to take the consensus across here and deal with technicalities of how we turn this into an agreement".

The IMF has calculated that U.S.

"We strive to realize a free, fair, non-discriminatory, transparent, predictable and stable trade and investment environment, to keep our markets open", they said.

Mnuchin told reporters that he expected that any major progress in resolving the impasse would likely come at a meeting of Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping during the G-20 summit in late June in Osaka, Japan.

Ahead of the meeting, campaign group Oxfam said the Fukuoka meeting was a "unique chance to put a stop to corporate tax dodging and damaging tax competition". "If we can't get the right agreement, we will proceed with tariffs", Mr Mnuchin said.