G20 leaders drop support to free trade and climate change
- Author: Zachary Reyes Mar 20, 2017,
Mar 20, 2017, 17:54
After a two-day meeting, ministers from G-20 developed and emerging nations said they were "working to strengthen the contribution of trade to our economies" but failed to spell out a pledge to reject protectionism in a closing statement. Protectionist policy attempts to shelter local businesses and workers from worldwide competition through tariffs, import quotas and subsidies.
African Ministers from Côte d'Ivoire, Morocco, Rwanda, Senegal and Tunisia were invited to the G20, where they each delivered presentations on their country's macroeconomic environment, reform initiatives and investment projects, the National Treasury said in a statement on Monday. It will hope that by then the U.S. has decided what it wants to do with its role in a world order it has done more than any other country to shape. "We have reached an impasse", Mr Schäuble said, later adding: "We did go to great lengths, we tried everything, we went down many avenues together and unilaterally".
But trade deals that now exist are not always balanced, he said, warning that Washington will not hesitate to renegotiate them.
"We believe in free trade; we are one of the largest markets in the world, we are one of the largest trading partners in the world", he said. "Having said that, we want to re-examine certain agreements", he continued, speaking specifically about NAFTA.
The communique also committed to "further strengthening the global financial architecture" and said members support work to finalize the Basel III framework on bank regulations. The WTO operates a system of negotiated trade rules and serves as a forum for resolving disputes.
The United States wanted to include explicit language that ensured "fair trade" between the nations, but was unable to get that included in the official communique, according to Bloomberg.
As global finance chiefs return from their first collective engagement with the Trump administration, they're bringing home a load of unfinished business.
WALL STREET: U.S. stocks limped to the finish line in another winning week after the Federal Reserve gave a more measured forecast than expected for interest rate increases. "Everyone else has the same lens, but every other country has the advantage of being at the previous meeting". Ironically, China and some European states tend to intervene more often in private-sector business than the US government.
Breaking a decade-long tradition of endorsing open trade, G20 finance ministers and central bankers made only a token reference to trade in their communiqué, a clear defeat for host nation Germany, which fought the new USA government's attempts to water down past commitments.
We will resist all forms of protectionism. "But it wasn't clear what one or another meant by that", he said. French Finance Minister Michel Sapin said the US was at odds with 19 other nations.
Trump and other critics of free trade argue that it can cause jobs to move to lower-cost countries.