G-20 Drops Anti-Protectionist Pledge as Price of U.S. Assent
Finance chiefs of the world’s largest economies set aside a pledge to avoid protectionism and signed up to a fudged statement on trade instead, in response to the Trump administration’s call to rethink the global order for commerce.
Group of 20 nations said in a communique on Saturday that they are “working to strengthen the contribution of trade to our economies.” While the U.S. didn’t get all it wanted — such as a explicit pledge to ensure trade is fair — that’s a much pared-down formulation compared with the group’s statement last year, and omits a promise to “avoid all forms of protectionism.”
In two days of meetings in the German town of Baden-Baden, the argument by U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, in his first appearance at an international forum in the role, reflects claims by President Donald Trump that his nation has had a bad deal from the current global trade setup. That attitude pitched him against most other delegates, who favored a multilateral, rules-based system as embodied in the World Trade Organization.
“My view is that the Americans were doing what any new administration would do — they were looking at the language through their lens,” said Bill Morneau, Canada’s finance minister, who made a last-ditch push for the compromise. “Their lens is: how can trade benefit the U.S.? Everyone else has the same lens, but every other country has the advantage of being at the previous meeting.”The Crone, Pastiche, dreamnightwind and 1 otherdjean111 like thisI'm not a conspiracy theorist - I'm a conspiracy analyst. Gore Vidal
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