G20 reaches compromise on trade after wrangles on Day 1
Hamburg/Ottawa: World leaders reached a compromise on trade at the Group of 20 summit as officials agreed to fight protectionism while tacitly recognizing US President Donald Trump’s concerns about excess steel capacity and what he says are unfair trade practices.
“We will keep markets open, nothing the importance of reciprocal and mutually advantageous trade and investment frameworks,” the G20 communique will say, according to two officials from G20 members. The G20 will “continue to fight protectionism including all unfair trade practices and recognize the rule of legitimate trade defence instruments in this regard.”
The G20 also pledged renewed efforts to combat excess capacity in the steel industry, one of the officials said. At the same time, sherpas are still working to overcome differences on climate change in the statement, according to the officials.
Talks yesterday ran into a major rift over global economic policy as Trump, who spent much of his election campaign complaining about “unfair” trade hurting the US, held firm to his America First doctrine. G20 officials are concerned about a trade war over steel as Trump gears up for a decision on whether to impose punitive tariffs amid ongoing complaints about dumping on global markets.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the summit’s host, said on Friday that leaders need to find a common solution to steel overproduction, otherwise the risk of “bilateral actions” increases.
Trump’s administration is weighing whether to impose tariffs, quotas or a combination of both on steel imports under national security grounds through Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act, even though only a fraction of US steel is used for defence. Trump’s Commerce Department launched its review in April, missed a self-imposed deadline for a decision last month and is expected to announce a verdict soon. Bloomberg