China rallies Brics to fight against protectionism as US steps up trade war

China has rallied the support of the biggest developing economies to push back against protectionism as US President Donald Trump threatens to impose tariffs on almost all Chinese imports.

China, Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa have agreed to “fight against trade protectionism together" after a meeting during the Group of 20 Summit of finance ministers and central bankers in Buenos Aires, the Chinese Finance Ministry said in a statement posted on its website.

The Brics should ”firmly support economic globalisation and multilateralism and unequivocally oppose unilateralism and protectionism in any form,’’ as the global economy faces increasing uncertainties and instability, Finance Minister Liu Kun told the meeting of the Brics nations.

Liu also urged his counterparts to push for advanced nations to adopt “responsible” economic policies, and “closely” monitor the pressure on capital flows in emerging markets brought forward by policy changes in developed nations, according to the statement.

The comments came after Trump said he’s “ready to go” with $500bn in tariffs on imports from China and accused the Asian nation and the European Union of weakening their currencies to obtain trade benefits. Trade tension is among the rising risks for the global economy, which is already becoming less synchronised, according to a draft of the G-20 statement.

At the meeting, Liu also pledged China’s support to improve infrastructures in the Brics and other developing nations. The officials also discussed issues including emergency reserves for the members and illegal capital flows, ahead of a Brics summit in Johannesburg this week.

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