G-20 nations agree on trade, but not climate
Leaders of the Group of 20 agreed Saturday to fix the world trading system after difficult, all-night talks in the Argentine capital, but only 19 of them agreed to support the Paris accord on fighting climate change with the United States the lone holdout.
The official summit statement acknowledges flaws in global commerce and calls for reforming the World Trade Organization. It doesn’t mention the word “protectionism,” however, after negotiators said that had met resistance from the United States.
Applause broke out in the summit hall as the leaders, including U.S. President Donald Trump, signed off on a final statement at the end of a twoday summit.
The nonbinding agreement was reached after talks by diplomats stretched overnight and into daylight Saturday, amid deep divisions between member nations. European Union officials said the United States was the main holdout on nearly every issue. Trump has criticized the WTO and taken aggressive trade policies targeting China and the EU.
But China also pushed back in talks on steel, South Africa objected to language on trade, Australia didn’t want the statement to be too soft on migration and Turkey worried it would push too far on climate change, according to the officials.
A senior White House official said the joint statement meets many U.S. objectives and stressed that it includes language about WTO reform.