G-20 Summit Signs for WTO Reform, U.S. Remains out of Paris Climate Accords

The end of 2018 brings about the annual G-20 summit, this one held on December 1, in which agreements were made on key issues such as trade, migration, and world markets. 

The document signed by all 20 nations, called the official communique, had language regarding important issues all around the world. These issues ranged from migration, trade, and the controversial Paris Climate Accords. The document initially stressed the protectionist policy pursued by American leadership, but due to strong U.S. resistance, the G-20 was forced to change the language of the document. 

The summit was held in the Argentinian capital of Buenos Aires, the first time a G-20 meeting was held in Argentina. The meeting also carried on from the night of Nov. 30 to the morning of Dec. 1. 

President Trump made fair trade a priority, stressing the policies Washington had been pursuing regarding tariffs toward unfair trade with China. He also brought up unfair trade agreements with Europe, saying that the World Trade Organization as a whole needed to be amended.

The Paris Climate Accords was signed by 19 of the 20 nations, with the United States holding its ground and refusing to be influenced by its European peers. 

As for the language in the official communique, the countries did not easily agree on what it should say, with several voicing their diverse opinions. China wanted lower tariffs, while Turkey did not want the document to be too focused on climate change and ignore other issues. It should be noted that one major European nation, Australia, wanted stricter language on migration, a phenomenon that has had a major effect on European life in the 21st century. 

The document withheld an official statement from the U.N. citing the effects of climate change, and constituted a summit in Poland with all the countries that signed the Paris Climate Accords. This meeting would stress cooperation between countries to abide by the rules of the Paris Climate Accords. 

The major takeaway from the G-20 summit was the European agreement to reform the WTO, and strive for better trade. Whether “better” means universal trade without tariffs or continued exploitation of U.S. resources, we cannot be sure. 

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