Italy says aspects of Trump's stance on trade are worrying

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[January 27, 2017]  BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Signs that U.S. President Donald Trump is ready to adopt protectionist trade policies are a cause for concern and would hurt Europe, Italian Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said on Friday.

Pier Carlo Padoan, Minister of Economy and Finance of Italy attends the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, January 18, 2017. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich

Speaking to reporters after a meeting with European finance ministers in Brussels, Padoan said he viewed positively Trump's intention to stimulate the U.S. economy, but his early policy indications on trade had "very worrying aspects".

"If protectionism really sets in in the United States this would hurt Europe," Padoan said.

Turning to Italy's public finances, the minister said it would be "a big problem for Italy" if an ongoing tussle between Rome and the European Commission resulted in Brussels opening a formal procedure to force the government to make steeper deficit cuts.

(writing by Gavin Jones, editing by Isla Binnie)

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