Trump dis­sents from con­sen­sus on climate pact

San Francisco Chronicle - Late Edition (Sunday) - - WORLD - By An­gela Charl­ton, Luis An­dres Henao and Peter Orsi

BUENOS AIRES — Lead­ers of the world’s top economies agreed Satur­day to re­pair the global trad­ing sys­tem as they closed a Group of 20 sum­mit that saw the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion at odds with many al­lies over the Paris ac­cord on climate change and is­sues like mi­gra­tion.

The joint state­ment signed by all 20 mem­ber na­tions said 19 of them reaf­firmed their com­mit­ment to the Paris climate ac­cord, with the United States, which with­drew from the pact un­der Pres­i­dent Trump, the lone hold­out. The of­fi­cial com­mu­nique ac­knowl­edged flaws in global com­merce and called for re­form­ing the World Trade Or­ga­ni­za­tion, but it didn’t men­tion the word “pro­tec­tion­ism” af­ter ne­go­tia­tors said that had met re­sis­tance from the United States.

Ap­plause broke out in the con­ven­tion cen­ter hall as the lead­ers, in­clud­ing Trump, signed off on the state­ment at the end of the two-day sum­mit in the Ar­gen­tine cap­i­tal, the first time it has been held in South Amer­ica.

The non-bind­ing agree­ment was reached af­ter marathon talks by diplo­mats stretched overnight and into day­light, 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. The of­fi­cial also noted other el­e­ments such as lan­guage on work­force de­vel­op­ment and women’s eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment and a com­mit­ment by China to do­ing in­fra­struc­ture fi­nanc­ing on “trans­par­ent terms.”

The fi­nal lan­guage of the state­ment says, re­gard­ing climate, that 19 na­tions that are sig­na­to­ries to the Paris ac­cord re­it­er­ate their com­mit­ment to it while the U.S. re­it­er­ates its de­ci­sion to with­draw. It also notes a re­cent U.N. re­port that warned dam­age from global warm­ing will be much worse than pre­vi­ously feared, and ex­presses sup­port for a U.N. climate meet­ing this week in Poland meant to nail down how coun­tries will meet prom­ises made in the Paris ac­cord.

An­gela Charl­ton, Luis An­dres Henao and Peter Orsi are As­so­ci­ated Press writ­ers.

AFP / Getty Images

Ger­man Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel (left) listens to Pres­i­dent Trump dur­ing a ple­nary ses­sion of the Group of 20 sum­mit in Buenos Aires. The next G-20 sum­mit will be held in Osaka, Ja­pan.

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