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G20 leaders agree on final statement on trade, climate, migration

21:16 01 December 2018 Author :  
AFP Photo

The G20 grouping of industrialized nations skirted current global trade tensions but threw their weight beyond the reform of the World Trade Organization in a copy of their joint statement obtained by Reuters.

The United States reaffirmed its commitment to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord, while G20 signatories to the agreement declared the pact irreversible and said they would fully implement it.

Leaders of the Group of 20 have agreed to fix the world trading system but only 19 of them agreed to support the Paris accord on fighting climate change.

A final communique adopted at the summit in Argentina said all other G20 members agreed to implement the "irreversible" Paris Agreement on climate change.

But it said the "United States reiterates its decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement."

With U.S. President Donald Trump waging a trade war against China and others, the statement omitted pre-Trump pledges by the G20 to fight protectionism and uphold multilateral trading rules.

Instead, it merely recognized the "contribution" of the "multilateral trading system," and added that it was "falling short" in goals of growth and job creation.

Applause rose up in the hall Saturday as the leaders, including U.S. President Donald Trump, signed off on a final statement at the end of a two-day summit.

The statement acknowledges flaws in the world trading system and calls for reforming the World Trade Organization. It doesn't mention protectionism however, because negotiators said the U.S. had resisted that. AFP

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