Breaking News
0

G20 trade ministers say WTO reform 'urgent' as new Trump tariffs loom

EconomySep 15, 2018 04:07AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
© Reuters. Argentina's Production Minister Dante Sica and Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie attend to a news conference at the G20 Trade and Investment Meeting in Mar del Plata

By Scott Squires

MAR DEL PLATA (Reuters) - Trade and investment ministers from G20 countries meeting in Argentina said there was an "urgent need" to improve the World Trade Organization, a joint statement said on Friday.

With U.S. President Donald Trump readying tariffs on another $200 billion in Chinese goods, the ministers said they were "stepping up the dialogue" on international trade disputes, according to the statement issued at the summit. [nL2N1W017T]

It did not provide any details of possible WTO reforms or how dialogue on trade was being increased.

"Obviously the new tariff measures are not positive," Argentina's Production and Labor Minister, Dante Sica, said in a news conference at the end of the one-day meeting. "But we need to see how things evolve."

German Deputy Economy Minister Oliver Wittke said the joint declaration sent a powerful signal about the importance of strengthening WTO "especially in times of 'America first' and increasing global protectionism," with next steps to follow when G20 leaders meet in Argentina at the end of November.

"We have to use this momentum," Wittke said in a statement released by the ministry after the summit.

Outside the meeting, smoke filled the air in the normally tranquil seaside city of Mar Del Plata where the conference is being held. Protesters burned makeshift American flags and chanted against free trade orthodoxy and Trump's support of Argentina's cash-strapped President Mauricio Macri, whose fiscal belt-tightening has garnered a backlash from the country's working-class.

"We're standing here in solidarity with the workers of Latin America. While those politicians sleep in fancy beds, communities starve because of trade and adjustment policies that hurt the most vulnerable," protester Maralin Cornil, 30, said.

Argentina holds the G20's rotating presidency this year, and is re-negotiating a $50 billion stand-by financing deal with the IMF, cutting its fiscal deficit targets and reducing costs to ensure it can continue paying its international debts.

Trump has said he would attend the summit's final meeting with other heads of state, in Buenos Aires on November 30.

The Trump administration has demanded that China cut its $375 billion trade surplus with the United States, end policies aimed at acquiring U.S. technologies and intellectual property, and roll back high-tech industrial subsidies.

While Trump has threatened to pull the United States from the WTO, China has called for WTO reform to make the global trade system fairer and more effective. [nL3N1W01UG]

The 23-year-old trading club is run on the basis of consensus, meaning that every one of its 164 members has an effective veto and it is almost impossible to get agreement on any change to the rules. [nL8N1VM5B2]

Sica also said that talks on a free trade deal between the European Union and the Mercosur trade bloc of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay were wrapping up, with an agreement likely by the end of the year.

"We are in the final stages regarding the most delicate aspects of an EU-Mercosur agreement and we are concluding with the political and technical details," Sica said.

G20 trade ministers say WTO reform 'urgent' as new Trump tariffs loom
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind: 

  • Enrich the conversation
  • Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed.
  • Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically.
  •  Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and links within a comment will be removed
  • Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user.
  • Don’t Monopolize the Conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also believe strongly in giving everyone a chance to air their thoughts. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email