Finance ministers and central bankers kick off meeting in Baden-Baden

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin may offer the Group of 20 something the world hasn't heard yet from the new US administration on currency and trade policy: reassurance.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Thursday in Berlin that the Trump administration had no desire to get into trade wars, but certain trade relationships need to be re-examined to make them fairer for U.S. workers. He said, without providing specifics, that some USA trade agreements need to be re-examined, while adding that, "It is not our desire to get into trade wars".

He said moving all those functions overseas would cause huge upheaval and he wants to negotiate a Brexit deal that keeps London strong: "I am not sure whether it would be very beloved in Paris to say so, but we have our own interest, even after Brexit, to have a strong financial centre in London".

During the campaign, Trump said he would consider any number of economic tactics to address trade deficits, including tariffs, currency sanctions and vowing to rewrite or cancel entire trade deals, though he has yet to follow through on any of those threats in the opening weeks of his presidency. A joint statement to be issued Saturday is likely to repeat the past stance on forex.

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Trump's top trade adviser, Peter Navarro, previously accused Germany of using a "grossly undervalued" euro in order to gain advantage over the USA and its own European Union partners.

Mnuchin said that the United States believes in free trade, and more importantly "fair trade", adding the U.S. had no intention to start trade wars with other economic powers.

The gathering in Baden-Baden will be the first occasion for the leaders to discuss global economic challenges since US President Donald Trump took office in January.

But both Schaeuble and Mnuchin both said they had a constructive discussion ahead of the G20 meeting and pledged to work together through differences to promote growth.

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"What is sure is that the G20 is dedicated to multilateralism and global cooperation", France's Michel Sapin said.

While stewarding currency policy has traditionally been the job of the Treasury secretary, comments from Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Trump's top trade adviser, and the president himself have left the world to wonder who is really driving that policy.

But European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said last week that it is the US dollar that is overvalued, rather than that the euro is undervalued.

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