G20 sealed landmark deal on WTO reform by ducking 'taboo words'

G20 sealed landmark deal on WTO reform by ducking 'taboo words'

On Saturday, the summit final declaration was adopted by G20 leaders outlining a list of documents approved by the nations' cabinet ministers and working groups, including a statement about the importance of global trade and investment as "important engines of growth, productivity, innovation, job creation and development", Sputnik previously reported.

European Union officials said that the USA had held out on nearly every issue discussed.

On the sidelines of the G20 gathering, created to concentrate on fiscal and monetary policy matters, U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping were slated to hold their first face-to-face talks since November 2017.

One EU official told reporters that the G-20 summit's final statement is likely to reflect 19 members supporting the Paris climate accord with the US stating its opposition to it.

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

Greenpeace said that "the necessity of the United States being part of the effort to fight climate change can not be denied, but this is a demonstration that the U.S. is still the odd one out".

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".

As a result, for the first time since G20 leaders held their inaugural meeting in Washington in 2008, their communique did not contained a pledge to fight protectionism.

Guterres, apart from expressing gratitude to the two nations for their leadership in reaching and implementing the Paris Agreement, told the press that, the pace of climate change and the challenges it has brought to all nations have exceeded expectations. He said the European Union is expected to extend sanctions on Moscow over its "totally unacceptable" seizure of Ukrainian ships and their crews near the Crimean Peninsula. "In a lot of areas it's falling short", said the USA official, who asked not to be identified because of the confidential nature of the talks.

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"But in the end, it's still 19 v 1", said Bernes.

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also met the press together after their meeting.

He said: "We have agreed on a statement that reflects the necessity of revitalising trade, of revitalising the WTO".

In the statement, China and France renewed their highest political commitment to the effective and transparent implementation of the Paris Agreement in all aspects.

The feud comes despite mounting signs of the impact of climate change, with a major U.S. government report last week saying that the country's economy could be sliced by 10 percent by the end of the century without major action.

The day will also see a highly anticipated meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, whose nations have been embroiled in an escalating trade war with new U.S. tariffs on China goods set to take effect a month from now.

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.

The next G-20 summit is to be held in Osaka, Japan, in June 2019.

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