"We reaffirm our leaders' conclusions on trade from the Buenos Aires Summit and recognize the pressing need to resolve trade tensions", the sentence still under discussion said.
Following a G20 meeting Sunday that brought into sharp focus the differences between the United States and other countries, the world's top financial policymakers admitted that trade tensions had worsened and posed a threat to the global economy.
"Global growth appears to be stabilising and is generally projected to pick up moderately later this year and into 2020", the draft G20 communique, seen by Reuters, said.
According to a Japanese financial ministry official, rising trade tensions posed a serious downside risk for global economy.
"Most importantly, trade and geopolitical tensions have intensified", the G20 said, adding they "stood ready to take further action" if required.
Mnuchin's comments came on the sidelines of a meeting of finance ministers of G 20 economies in Fukuoka, Japan, and ahead of the Treasury Secretary's meeting with Yi Gang, the Governor of the People's Bank of China.
In a meeting that could offer a breakthrough, Mnuchin said Chinese President Xi Jinping and Trump are slated to meet at a Group of 20 summit later in June amid stalled talks. Mr Trump has said he will decide whether to enact tariffs on another US$325 billion in Chinese imports after the G-20 leaders' summit in Osaka.
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The G-20 communique supported a push by Japan's finance minister Taro Aso for a policy response to aging populations, spanning fiscal and monetary policy to measures on boosting labor force participation.
Yi told Bloomberg Television in an interview broadcast Friday that he expected the meeting with Mnuchin to be "difficult".
The remarks come as US tariffs on 200 billion dollars of Chinese goods were raised to 25 percent last month, more than doubling a series of tariffs applied by the Trump administration past year.
The Trump administration began slapping tariffs on imports of Chinese goods almost a year ago, accusing China of resorting to predatory tactics to give Chinese companies an edge in advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics and electric vehicles.
"A worsening of the worldwide climate and a real trade war would lead to an even more marked slowdown in global growth, with a direct impact on our jobs, companies, factories and sectors", he said.
A prolonged U.S. -China trade war will force more companies to shift their supply chain activities out of China.
Relations between the United States and China have deteriorated since US President Donald Trump in early May accused Beijing of reneging on commitments to change its ways of doing business with the rest of the world. "We recognise the contribution that the multilateral trading system has made to that end".