G-20 na­tions agree on trade, mi­gra­tion

The Charlotte Observer (Sunday) - - Nation & World - BY AN­GELA CHARL­TON, LUIS AN­DRES HENAO AND PETER ORSI As­so­ci­ated Press

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 two- day 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. 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.”

Ac­cord­ing to the of­fi­cial, the lan­guage on climate was nec­es­sary for Wash­ing­ton to sign on, and Turkey, Saudi Ara­bia and Rus­sia had appeared sym­pa­thetic to the U.S. position but ul­ti­mately stayed with the other coun­tries.

With trade ten­sions be­tween the U.S and China dom­i­nat­ing the sum­mit, the Euro­peans sought to play me­di­a­tor. They also scaled back their ex­pec­ta­tions, cut­ting out men­tion of ris­ing pro­tec­tion­ism.

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.


Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and Ger­many’s Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel meet sep­a­rately Satur­day at the G-20 sum­mit in Ar­gentina.

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