USA stands apart as G-20 summit stumbles on trade, climate

02 December, 2018, 01:57 | Author: Elaine Woods
  • Donald Trump and Mauricio Macri. Credit PA

The group of 20 accounts for 85% of the world's GDP and two-thirds of its population.

The divisions among the world's leading economies were evident from the moment Argentina's president Mauricio Macri opened the summit on Friday with a call for worldwide co-operation to solve the planet's problems.

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He later met with other G20 leaders including US President Donald Trump and Russia's Vladimir Putin.

White House bureau chief for Voice of America Steve Herman has since revealed that the quake was felt within Buenos Aires, where the summit is taking place.

On Thursday, when world leaders arrived in Argentina's capital city, hundreds of people gathered outside Argentina's congress to oppose the G20 summit and the International Monetary Fund.

The statement says 19 of the members reiterated their commitment to the Paris climate accord but the USA reiterates its decision to withdraw.

"Perhaps we can break through in Buenos Aires or not", he said.

Engagement by Chinese officials with the United States side has been complicated by conflict within Trump's economic team over how to achieve the president's ultimate goal of a fair trade agreement with China. It doesn't mention protectionism however, because negotiators said the USA had resisted that.

He also warned that France would refuse to move forward on a trade accord with South America's Mercosur bloc if Brazil's incoming far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, pulls out of the Paris climate accord.

A Chinese foreign ministry official in Buenos Aires said there were signs of increasing consensus ahead of the discussions but that differences persisted.

The statement says 19 of the members reiterated their commitment to the Paris climate accord but the USA reiterates its decision to withdraw.

"We will continue to tackle climate change, while promoting sustainable development and economic growth", the statement said.

Trump and Macri at the G20 summit. Credit PA
Trump and Macri at the G20 summit. Credit PA

"We are in a position to deal with it and handle it very well", he told reporters.

But China 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 anxious it would push too far on climate change.

Trump said his predecessor's passing would prevent him holding a post-summit news conference scheduled for later Saturday, "out of respect" for the Bush family.

President Donald Trump walks away from Argentina's President Mauricio Macri, left, at the start of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Nov. 30, 2018.5.

The summit is meant to focus on issues such as labor, infrastructure, development, financial stability, climate sustainability and global commerce. European Union officials told The Associated Press that the US was the main holdout on nearly every issue.

The Appellate Body's Chinese member, Hong Zhao, may have to recuse herself because of a potential conflict of interest, which would make it impossible to decide on any appeal in the case, several trade experts told Reuters.

Chinese President Xi Jinping met with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, here on Friday on the sidelines of the 13th Group of 20 (G20) summit.

"Europe is united in its support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity", Tusk said, calling the standoff "a cause of great concern".

Also looming large amid dozens of bilateral meetings in Buenos Aires was the gruesome slaying of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia's Istanbul consulate and the participation at the summit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is alleged to have ordered the killing.

Bin Salman told Macron not to worry, but Macron countered, "I am anxious".

Saudi Arabia has denied that the prince played a role, but U.S. intelligence agencies concluded he ordered the killing.

The cancellation means Trump will no longer face press questions over new developments this week stemming from a U.S. investigation into whether his presidential campaign colluded with Russian Federation, which has now spread to cover his past business dealings. Putin used the time set aside to meet with Trump to pow-wow with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

As he prepared to sign what he called a "model" trade agreement with the presidents of Mexico and Canada, Trump noted that the new North American deal "dramatically raised standards for combating unfair trade practices confronting massive subsidies for state owned enterprises and currency manipulation that hurt workers in all three of our countries".

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