Jobs, Climate and Steel Highlight Trump’s Effect on the G-20
EghtesadOnline: Donald Trump’s debut Group of 20 summit yielded a concluding statement covered with the U.S. president’s fingerprints. While the meeting was marred by clashes and vandalism in protests throughout Hamburg, inside the summit venue leaders largely avoided the incendiary – striking a deal on trade while agreeing to disagree on climate.
Here are the main points of the 2017 G-20 communique, as seen by Bloomberg News:
The leaders will “continue to fight protectionism including all unfair trade practices and recognize the role of legitimate trade defense instruments in this regard.” All countries but the U.S. will hail the first part of that phrase – the anti-protectionism pledge – while Trump may have a wider definition of “legitimate” trade measures than his peers. Leaders also noted the need for “reciprocal and mutually advantageous trade,” evoking dealmaker Trump’s transactional view of the world.
Leaders committed to “rapidly develop concrete policy solutions that reduce steel excess capacity” and called on members of a global forum on steel – struck up at last year’s G-20 in China – to “fulfill their commitments on enhanced information sharing” within one month. The tougher language is a policy victory for Trump as he considers new tariffs and quotas on U.S. steel imports.
The U.S. “announced it will immediately cease the implementation of its current nationally-determined contribution and affirms its strong commitment to an approach that lowers emissions while supporting economic growth and improving energy security needs.” While leaders “take note” of the U.S. decision to pull out of the Paris Agreement, all but Trump “agree that the Paris Agreement is irreversible.”
The U.S. touted fossil fuels, saying “it will endeavor to work closely with other countries to help them access and use fossil fuels more cleanly and efficiently.” The two pledges starkly define the U.S. isolation on climate and underscore concerns that the G-20 remains divided.
“We will continue to use all policy tools – monetary, fiscal and structural – individually and collectively to achieve our goal of strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth, while enhancing economic and financial resilience.”
This wasn’t contentious and is in line with previous G-20 statements.
“We recognize that the benefits of international trade and investment have not been shared widely enough. We need to better enable our people to seize the opportunities and benefits of economic globalization.”
This section mirrors tougher language used in the G-7 statement in May and reflects Trump’s insistence that trade must be “fair” as well as free.
“We underline the crucial role of the rules-based international trading system” including importance of “WTO-consistent” bilateral pacts. This is win for the Europeans, who insisted on recognition of the WTO in the face of Trump administration skepticism of the multilateral trading regime.
New Era Jobs
The leaders committed to “harnessing digitalization” in part by boosting training for the jobs of tomorrow. Non-controversial.
“We emphasize the sovereign right of states to manage and control their borders and in this regard to establish policies in their own national interests and national security, as well as the importance that repatriation and reintegration of migrants who are not eligible to remain be safe and humane.”
This again is tougher language that is a nod to efforts by Trump – though not only Trump – to tighten borders.
For the first time, G-20 leaders agreed that “enhanced equal access” for men and women to property, employment and financial services “are fundamental for achieving gender equality and full realization of their rights.” Leaders also agreed that “more needs to be done” to cut the labor-force participation gender gap.
The summit host, Angela Merkel, and Justin Trudeau have built bridges with the U.S. administration – specifically Ivanka Trump – through gender equality initiatives.