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Buenos Aires back to normal following G20 Summit mass riot

03 December 2018

With respect to trade, he said that "what is being proposed is trade that is fair".

But it said the "United States reiterates its decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement", mirroring the divergence seen past year when Trump shocked the global community by bucking the consensus at his first G20.

During the annual G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, this weekend, US President Donald Trump could not see his way to agreeing with the other 19 assembled world leaders that human-induced climate change is a scientific reality.

First among those taboos is "protectionism". European Union officials said the United States was the main holdout on almost every issue.

To force reform at the WTO, Trump's team has blocked new appointments to the world's top trade court, which is rapidly running out of judges, meaning it will be unable to issue binding rulings in trade disputes.

The release of the G20 communique meant that the meeting at least avoided the fate of two other recent summits - those of the Group of Seven democracies and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum - that ended without any collective statement owing to USA objections.

A G20 communique said "We renew our commitment to work together to improve a rules-based global order that is capable of effectively responding to a rapidly changing world". Is it achieving its intended objectives?

On Monday, Trump dismissed a study produced by 13 USA federal agencies and around 300 climate scientists that warned that the impact of climate change would be catastrophic.

The final statement said the group supports the "necessary reform of the WTO to improve its functioning", allowing United States officials to claim a victory. "Given Trump's earlier threats, to end up with the G20 saying it would work together on WTO reform is interesting".

The threat of Britain crashing out of the European Union without a negotiated deal is another potential headwind, the International Monetary Fund said, as May uses the G20 to sell her vision of a "global Britain" after Brexit.

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The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the ongoing closed-door discussions. "After Apec, we knew it would be important for the Chinese to feel there was no ganging up on them".

While Trump canceled his meeting with Putin, the USA president was still scheduled to meet with China's Xi, but analysts were not optimistic about prospects for a major breakthrough on their countries' trade disputes a month before US tariffs on Chinese goods are set to ramp up.

Asked about the European concerns, a US official said progress was being made on the joint statement and the White House was "optimistic" about the document as a whole.

"The spirit wasn't adversarial", said the delegate closely involved in the G20 drafting, adding that perhaps because of the fallout after Apec, officials at least tried to work things out.

The official said the USA delegation also held up discussion of how to manage refugees and migrants, but that the final statement is expected to mention the need to manage migration on a global level.

And they still had not tackled one of the thorniest issues: climate change.

In the end, members agreed to disagree.

The thirteenth summit of the Group of Twenty (G20) came to conclusion on Saturday, December 1, with the leaders of the participating nations agreeing to tackle problems in all major issues excepting climate change over which the United States continued to beg to differ.

The document emerged after a week of hard negotiations, providing a measure of relief to officials who feared a repeat of recent gatherings like the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Papua New Guinea, when no final statement was issued.

Buenos Aires back to normal following G20 Summit mass riot

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