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G-20 leaders agree to fix the trading system, not climate change

(BUENOS AIRES, Argentina) – Leader of the 20th Sept. Group to Fix World Trade System after difficult, all-night talks in…

(BUENOS AIRES, Argentina) – Leader of the 20th Sept. Group to Fix World Trade System after difficult, all-night talks in the Argentinean capital, but only 19 of them agreed to support the Paris agreement on climate change change with the United States states the lone holdout.

The official summit statement recognizes shortcomings in global trade and calls for reform of the World Trade Organization. It is not mentioned the word “protectionism”, but after the negotiator said that it had met resistance from the United States.

Applause broke out in the top hall when leaders, including US President Donald Trump, wrote on a final statement at the end of a two-day summit.

The non-binding agreement was reached after talks with diplomats stretched overnight and into daylight on Saturday, in the midst of deep wards between member states. European Union officials said that the United States was the most important holder on almost every question. Trump has criticized the WTO and adopted aggressive trade policy against China and the EU.

But China also drove back in talks on steel, South Africa protested against language on trade. Australia did not want the explanation to be too soft on migration and Turkey worried that it would push too far for climate change, according to officials.

An official in the White House said that the joint statement meets many US goals and stressed that it contains languages ​​about WTO reform. The official also noted other factors such as language of labor development and women’s economic development and a commitment from China to make infrastructure funding on “transparent terms”.

According to the official, the language of the climate was necessary for Washington to enter, and Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Russia had become sympathetic to the United States position but eventually stayed with the other countries.

With trade tensions between the US and China dominant summit, Europeans tried to play mediators. They also sharpened their expectations and discard mention of rising protectionism &#821

1; mainly focused on Trump.

The final language of the conclusion says, on climate, that 19 nations that have signed the Paris Agreement reiterate their commitment to it while the United States repeats its decision to withdraw. It also notes a new UN report warned of global warming damage will be much worse than previously afraid and expresses support for a forthcoming United Nations climate summit in Poland to nail down how countries will meet promises in Paris Agreement.

On global trade, the 20 countries claim to support multilateral trade but acknowledge that the current system is not working and needs to determine through “necessary reform of the WTO to improve its functioning”.

On migration, European officials said US negotiators said too much that there would have been a “deal-breaker” for Trump. So they came up with “minimalist” languages ​​that recognize growing migrant flows and the importance of joint efforts to support refugees and solve the problems that make them fly.

The statement also shows an engagement for a “rule-based international order”, despite Trump’s rejection of many of these rules.

“There were moments when we thought everything was lost,” said a European official, “while we spent two hours in one sentence.”

Officials spoke about terms of anonymity to discuss the closed negotiations.

Thomas Bernes from the Canada-based Center for International Governance Innovation, who has had leading roles with the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the Canadian Government, said G-20 had “woken up the road” at the summit and failed to really fix the trade . The United States was unrestrained on migration and climate change and blocked meaningful agreements on these issues, he added.

“Instead, the leaders buried their differences in obscene language and lost the language to fight protectionism that had been part of every G communique since the leaders’ first summit,” he added. “This is clearly a retrograde step forced by the United States impatience.”

“The question is whether we buried G-20 in the process,” added Bernes. “This is really a big hit for G20’s credibility to provide decisive leadership in dealing with global issues.”

Perhaps surprisingly, a country was seen as particularly constructive Russia, EU officials said. Despite tensions over its military actions in Ukraine and political involvement abroad, Russia supports international efforts for trade and climate.

Although a statement is not legally enforceable, Europeans see it as evidence that G-20 is still relevant and that multilateralism still works.

“Everyone agrees that the WTO should be reformed,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel. “This is an important deal.”

“We will send a clear signal – at least most of us” – for The success of the global climate negotiations starting in Poland on Sunday, Merkel said.

Merkel’s spokesman said that during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, she also expressed concern about rising tensions in the Kerch stretch outside the Crimea and drove for “free shipping to the sea of ​​the Azores. “

This weekend, Russia seized three Ukrainian naval vessels and their crews in an event that escalates a dragon war that began in 2014 when Russia attached the Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and supported separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine.

Germany and France tried to mediate between Russia and Ukraine and spokesman Steffen Seibert said Merkel and Putin agreed that the four countries would hold further talks at “Advisory Level å. “

Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping were to meet later on Saturday after the end of the summit. Their countries have been involved in an escalating trade war with new US customs duties on Chinese goods that come into force one month from now on.

“The trade war between the United States and China does not favor international trade. … A match between two major players does not benefit,” said Dante Sica, Argentina’s Minister for Production and Labor. “If they agree, that would be a good signal which would reduce the impact on international trade. “

Concluding remarks, the Summit and Argentine President Mauricio Macri said the countries had overcome” a number of challenges “to reach the agreement.”

“We have agreed on a statement reflecting the necessity of reviving trade, reviving the WTO …” We ratify everyone’s concerns about climate change, “said Macri.

The next G20 summit is held in Osaka, Japan, in June 2019.

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