German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble clashed on Tuesday with the new US administration over its claims that Europe's biggest economy enjoyed trade surpluses as a result of currency manipulation.

"We don't have any manipulation," Schaeuble told foreign correspondents ahead of next week's meeting of finance ministers from the Group of 20 leading economies. He is also due to hold face-to-face talks with the new US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.

"But, of course, we will discuss openly with anyone who wants to discuss it with us, and then also ask: What exactly do they mean?" Schaeuble asked.

The White House National Trade Council director Peter Navarro this week renewed his attack on both Germany and China linking what he claimed was currency manipulation by the two nations to the US' 65-billion-dollar trade deficit.

Germany reported a record trade surplus of 252.6 billion euros last year.

Navarro said in a speech in Washington that "in the real world of fixed exchange rates, managed floats and outright currency manipulation," the US trade deficit cannot be corrected.

He called for "candid discussions" with Germany about steps to cut the US deficit, adding that the issue could arise during Chancellor Angela Merkel's visit to Washington next week.

Schaeuble emphasized the importance multi-national discussions as Berlin attempts to come to terms with US President Donald Trump's "America First" policy.

"We can only solve global problems through international cooperation", Schaeuble said.

He told reporters that monetary policy and the euro were in hands of the European Central Bank and that the Frankfurt-based central bank was independent.

Germany's trade surplus was a result of the competitiveness of the nation's corporate sector, Schaeuble said.

The German finance minister is due to meet Mnuchin in Berlin ahead the two-day meeting of G20 finance ministers and their central bank chiefs, which Schaeuble is to chair in the south-western German spa resort of Baden-Baden.

Schaeuble said the main focus of the G20 meeting would be steps aimed at promoting sustainable global economic growth and driving forward structural reforms.

The G20 finance chiefs are also to consider measures for improving the investment conditions in African countries.

However, the latest comments from Navarro, who last month lashed out at Germany claiming it was exploiting "a grossly undervalued currency," point to the issue of currency manipulation also playing a key role in Baden-Baden.

The G20 meeting is likely to be a key test for Mnuchin as well as China's new Finance Minister Xiao Jie, who will also be making his debut at a major economic conference.

The Baden-Baden meeting comes at a time of economic uncertainty, especially for the European Union, as Britain prepares to launch its negotiations to leave the bloc.

In his comments on Tuesday, Schaeuble said it was important that the EU's 27 remaining members stick together in the face of what he said were likely to be difficult and complicated negotiations.

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