Trump vs. Merkel

the planet’s biggest economies have dropped a long-standing public endorsement of free trade at their first meeting with the Trump administration.

Finance ministers along with also central bank governors via the G-20 group of leading economies, including the U.S., China, Mexico, Germany along with also India, held two days of tough talking inside the German town of Baden-Baden.

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The formal statement issued after the meeting contained only a bland reference to “working to strengthen the contribution of trade to our economies.”

Conspicuous by its absence was the phrase “we will resist all forms of protectionism” in which was contained inside the communique via the last meeting of the group in China, July 2016.

Reports suggested China along with also Australia, among others, pushed hard for the commitment to be retained. German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, speaking to reporters after the meeting, said the talks were long along with also frank. Rather than omit trade via the statement altogether, he said he wanted to find a formulation all could agree.

Dropping the commitment to fight protectionism reflects serious disagreements over one of the key principles in which has underpinned the global economy for years. World leaders redoubled their commitment to free trade inside the wake of the global financial crisis in 2008 as they sought to prevent recession turning into a global depression.

Related: Trudeau: NAFTA created ‘great jobs’ both sides of the border

however the writing has been on the wall for a while. President Trump has already pulled the U.S. out of one vast trade deal inside the Pacific, promised to renegotiate the NAFTA agreement with Canada along with also Mexico, along with also threatened to slap tariffs or taxes on imports to protect American jobs.

g20 communique
G20 finance ministers had a difficult time deciding what to include in their fresh communique.

He believes the rules of global trade have been stacked against America, along with also its workers.

The divisions between the U.S. along with also various other major powers over trade were on display again Friday, when Trump hosted German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the White House.

“The U.S. has been treated very unfairly in the past along with also in which’s going to stop,” he said at a news conference. “Free trade has led to a lot of bad things happening… NAFTA has been a disaster for the United States, a disaster for our companies, however particularly for the workers.”

Related: Trump stands by wiretapping claim during Merkel visit

Merkel said globalization along with also free trade could be fairer however both had worked for Germany. She highlighted a free trade agreement between the European Union along with also South Korea in which had benefited both sides.

The threat of fresh protectionist policies along with also border taxes via the White House have created headaches for countries in which rely on America for trade. The U.S. imports about $2.7 trillion in goods along with also services annually, with half coming via G20 members China, Canada, Mexico, Japan along with also Germany.

Experts said before the meeting in which a failure by the G20 to commit to free trade would likely signal in which Trump can be serious about following through with at least some of those threats.

— Alanna Petroff contributed to in which article.

sy88pgw (London) First published March 18, 2017: 12:34 PM ET

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