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BERLIN (Reuters) - German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz is “seriously concerned” about a trade stand-off with the United States, he told mass-selling daily newspaper Bild.

Germany's Finance Minister Olaf Scholz leaves a news conference during the 2018 G20 Conference entitled "The G20 Agenda Under the Argentine Presidency", in Buenos Aires, Argentina, March 18, 2018. REUTERS/Agustin Marcarian

Asked by Bild if a trade war was an issue for a meeting of Group of 20 finance ministers in Buenos Aires, Scholz said: “I am cautious about using the term ‘war’.”

“But I am seriously concerned that the foundation of our prosperity - free trade - is being put at risk,” he added. “Protectionism is not the answer to the difficulties of our time. The situation is serious.”

Scholz said on Sunday Germany would continue talks to dissuade the United States from imposing planned punitive steel and aluminum tariffs.

Writing by Paul Carrel; Editing by Toby Chopra

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