Germany defends surplus, urges ECB to tighten policy

BERLIN, April 19 (Reuters) - Germany has prepared a robust defence of its current account surplus in a position paper drawn up ahead of international finance talks in Washington later this week, when it expects to face U.S. pressure to reduce the surplus.

In the eight-page position paper, the German finance and economy ministries argue that the current account surplus, which ran at 8.3 percent of national economic output last year, is the result of market-based corporate decisions.

“Germany applies no protectionist instruments,” the ministries wrote in the paper, in which they added that divergent U.S. and euro zone monetary policies have exacerbated trade imbalances.

“The economic growth in the euro zone and inflation developments could encourage the ECB to begin a normalisation of monetary policy,” the ministries said in the paper, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters.

“A stronger euro would automatically reduce the trade surplus.”

Officials from the Group of 20 major economies will meet on the sidelines of the bi-annual conference of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in Washington, which runs from Thursday until Sunday. (Reporting by Matthias Sobolewski; Writing by Paul Carrel; Editing by Joseph Nasr)