Monday, 17 December, 2018

Summit shows strains over climate change

G20 leaders worried over tariff war Donald Trump Was Only World Leader to Reject Climate Change in G20 Statement
Rhonda Young | 03 December, 2018, 22:19

Leaders from the Group of 20 industrialized nations are meeting in Buenos Aires for two days starting today.

G20 nations have agreed to reform the World Trade Organisation (WTO) according to European officials, with a preliminary draft of the announcement expected to be released at the end of the two-day meeting today.

Making his final statements at the G20 Summit, France's president told reporters that he had discussed the Jamal Khashoggi case with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. "We have American taboos and Chinese taboos".

"Leaders buried their differences in obscure language and dropped language to fight protectionism, which had been included in every G-20 communique since the leaders' first summit".

U.S. President Donald Trump has criticized the WTO and taken aggressive trade policies targeting China and the EU.

But Trump said on the way back to Washington that he plans to formally terminate NAFTA, so Congress will have to choose between accepting the new pact or going without a trade accord.

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Even the word "multilateralism" itself has fallen out of favour in a group created to foster global cooperation.

But it said the "United States reiterates its decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement", mirroring the divergence seen past year when Trump shocked the global community by bucking the consensus at his first G20. European Union officials said the United States was the main holdout on almost every issue. He has even threatened to withdraw the United States from the global body.

According to the official, the unusual language on climate was necessary for Washington to sign on, and Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation had appeared sympathetic to the US position but ultimately stayed with the other countries.

While a statement isn't legally enforceable, the Europeans see it as proof that the G-20 is still relevant and that multilateralism still works. Is it achieving its intended objectives? Some officials said just having a statement was a good result, given intense wrangling over issues like trade, migration and climate.

The final statement said the group supports the "necessary reform of the WTO to improve its functioning", allowing USA officials to claim a victory.

European Union officials said that a key step in clinching a deal was getting China and major emerging economies to commit to language on trade early this week. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak publicly about the closed-door discussions. "After Apec, we knew it would be important for the Chinese to feel there was no ganging up on them".

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Asked about the European concerns, a US official said progress was being made on the joint statement and the White House was "optimistic" about the document as a whole.

Financial markets will be cheered by the US announcement that Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed at a dinner after the summit to have a 90-day truce in their trade battle.

"The G20 is a common space for dialogue and working collaboratively", added Macri.

Delegates worked until 6.30am on Saturday, the final day of the summit, watering down language on migration and refugees in the face of resistance from the United States and others, European and Argentine officials said.

And they still had not tackled one of the thorniest issues: climate change.

One EU official told reporters that the G-20 summit's final statement is likely to show 19 members supporting the Paris climate accord, with the US stating its opposition to it.

Updated AirPods supposedly will land in early 2019
According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Cupertino is planning an upgrade for Q1 2019 and a completely new version in early 2020. Nevertheless, he suggested that people have to wait until 2020 to witness all new AirPods with "all-new design" element.

The document emerged after a week of hard negotiations, providing a measure of relief to officials who feared a repeat of recent gatherings like the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Papua New Guinea, when no final statement was issued.

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