G-20 Agrees On Communique Which “Caters Widely” To Trump, Does Not Mention Protectionism

Saturday, December 1, 2018
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
Sat, 12/01/2018

Update: As we discussed earlier in the day, one of the two main questions heading into today’s G-20 summit conclusion in Buenos Aires was whether the participants would agree on a consensus statement. The answer was revealed on Saturday afternoon, when Bloomberg reported that the Group of 20 nations agreed that “the current global trading system has flaws and needs reform”, in a communique that however failed to reference protectionism for the first time, a key sticking point for the US delegation.

The G-20 representatives agreed to a rather token statement that warns of threats to growth from geopolitics and recognizes the benefits of multilateral trade. However, while excluding any mention of protectionism, the group committed to pursue reform of the World Trade Organization, according to a copy obtained by Bloomberg. The leaders are expected to sign the document later Saturday.

The communique welcomed “strong global economic growth while recognizing it has been increasingly less synchronized between countries” and members said they “note current trade issues.” They agreed that fiscal policy “should rebuild buffers where needed, be used flexibly and be growth-friendly, while ensuring public debt is on a sustainable path.”

While there were concerns whether the US would endorse the draft, these faded away when – in an apparent nod to President Trump’s criticism – the document said that the WTO is “falling short of its objectives and there is room for improvement.” Leaders would also discuss WTO reform at a meeting in June, according to Bloomberg.

In a further appeasement of the US delegation, the statement makes only one mention of climate change, even as it notes both the U.S. exit from the Paris Agreement and other countries’ ongoing support for the accord aimed at capping emissions blamed for global warming.

As Bloomberg concludes, the communique “caters widely to Trump’s America First policies, and leaves little doubt of deep divides among the leaders of the world’s biggest economies.”

The Rest…HERE

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