G20 fail to agree position on world trade and climate change

The summit was attended by finance ministers from 20 countries

G20 fail to agree position on world trade and climate change

A camerman films a logo at the G20 financial summit | Image: PA images

The G20 meeting of world finance ministers has failed to agree a common position on world trade and climate change.

Finance chiefs from 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.

Pressure from the US meant they couldn't oppose economic protectionism. 

In an official statement from the G20 members they said they're "working to strengthen the contribution of trade to our economies."

Speaking about the viewpoint of the US, Canada’s finance minister Bill Morneau said "My view is that the Americans were doing what any new administration would do -- they were looking at the language through their lens.

"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."

An entire section on action against climate change was also dropped from a final agreement.

Internal disagreement 

French Finance Minister Michael Sapin spoke about an internal disagreement "I regret that our discussions today didn’t end in a satisfactory manner.

"there wasn’t a G-20 disagreement, there was disagreement within the G-20 between a country and all the others. This isn’t a caricature, this is the reality of things."

They also said they are committed to "further strengthening the global financial architecture" and said members support work to finalize the Basel III framework on bank regulation.