The only one in step

Trump stands alone as 19 of the G20 leaders stick with Paris agreement on climate change and German Chancellor Merkel brands US decision to quit ‘regrettable’

US President Donald Trump found himself alone at the G20 summit over climate change, as the other 19 members described the Paris climate accord as ‘irreversible’.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel today described the US position as ‘regrettable’.

She told reporters at the end of the two-day meeting: ‘I think it’s very clear that we could not reach consensus, but the differences were not papered over, they were clearly stated.’

But here there was consensus and a good thing too:

Leaders of the 20 largest economies in the world, including Trump, did reach a common statement about the other contentious issue at the summit – trade.

The statement retains the G-20’s longstanding rejection of protectionism.

But it also acknowledged that trade must be mutually beneficial and that countries can use ‘legitimate’ trade defenses to protect workers and industries against being taken advantage of by trade partners.

It may all depend on what you mean by “legitimate” but it is good to see. But if everyone else wants to ruin their means of generating power, the US won’t have to do another thing to improve its international trade relations.

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