World Leaders Agree on Trade, Not Climate

The G-20 plans to reform world trading system
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 1, 2018 12:15 PM CST
World Leaders Agree on Trade, Not Climate
In this photo released by the press office of the G20 Summit, leaders and their partners pose for a group photo prior to a gala dinner at the Colon Theater in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Friday, Nov. 30, 2018.   (G20 Press Office via AP)

Leaders of the world's top economies agreed Saturday to repair the global trading system as they closed a Group of 20 summit that saw the Trump administration at odds with many allies over the Paris accord on climate change and issues like migration, the AP reports. The joint statement signed by all 20 member nations says 19 of them reaffirm their commitment to the Paris climate accord, with the US, which withdrew from the pact under President Donald Trump, the lone holdout. The official communique acknowledged flaws in global commerce and called for reforming the World Trade Organization, but it didn't mention the word "protectionism" after negotiators said that met resistance from the US. Applause broke out in the convention center hall as the leaders, including Trump, signed off on the statement at the end of the two-day summit in Buenos Aires.

The non-binding agreement was reached after marathon talks by diplomats stretched overnight and into daylight, amid deep divisions between member nations. European Union officials say the US was the main holdout on nearly every issue. 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 US reiterates its decision to withdraw. On global commerce, the statement says the 20 countries support multilateral trade but acknowledge that the current system doesn't work and needs fixing, via "the necessary reform of the WTO to improve its functioning." Click for the full story, or see why French President Emmanuel Macron was overheard saying, "I am worried."

(Read more G-20 stories.)

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