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G20 inks pact to avert trade war

By David Lawder and Yoo Choonsik

GYEONGJU, South Korea | Sun Oct 24, 2010 1:45am EDT

GYEONGJU, South Korea (Reuters) – The Group of 20 major economies agreed on Saturday to shun competitive currency devaluations but stopped short of setting targets to reduce trade imbalances that are clouding global growth prospects.

At a meeting in South Korea, G20 finance ministers recognized the quickening shift in economic power away from Western industrial nations by striking a surprise deal to give emerging nations a bigger voice in the International Monetary Fund.

A closing communique contained no major policy initiative after a U.S. proposal to limit current account imbalances to 4 percent of gross domestic product, a measure aimed squarely at shrinking China’s surplus, failed to win broad enough backing.

Indeed, the United States itself came under fire from Germany and China for the super-loose monetary policy stance it has adopted to try to breathe life into the sluggish U.S. economy.

German Economy Minister Rainer Bruederle said he had made clear that easing was the wrong way to go.

“An excessive, permanent increase in money is, in my view, an indirect manipulation of the (foreign exchange) rate,” he said.

via G20 inks pact to avert trade war | Reuters.