The US struggled yesterday to win backing for its proposal of setting numerical targets for external imbalances as a way of pressing surplus countries such as China to let their exchange rates rise.
Diplomats said US Treasury chief Geithner was proposing to limit surpluses and deficits on the current account to 4pc of GDP.
But Geithner's proposal met a cool reception on the first day of a two-day meeting meant to smooth the path for a G20 summit in Seoul on November 11-12.
German Economy Minister Rainer Bruederle warned of falling back into "planned economy thinking", while Russian Deputy Finance Minister Dmitry Pankin said the draft communique to be issued today would stay clear of numerical targets.
Japanese Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda also voiced scepticism about Geithner's proposal.