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G-20 Agrees to Joint Statement, With Compromises

Dec 02 , 2018

After late nights of difficult negotiations, the Group of 20 nations issued a joint statement that affirms the importance of the multilateral trading system, with concessions in the language to the U.S. and China on protectionism and unfair trading practices.

Such statements were once routine, but they have become a struggle in recent months, with the Trump administration aggressively questioning the basic tenets of multilateral gatherings and institutions. It also follows a highly publicized failure last month in Papua New Guinea, where members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum couldn’t agree on a communiqué because of fights between the U.S. and China.

The potential for a truce in the U.S.-China trade dispute during a dinner Saturday evening between President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping worked as an incentive to agree on a statement rather than spoil the mood, said one EU official involved in the negotiations.

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