Trump dodges Putin, but not Russia controversy, at G20

A senior White House official said that the statement met numerous US objectives and was the first time the G20 has said that the WTO is falling short of its objectives and needs reform.

While Trump canceled his meeting with Putin, the US president was still scheduled to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping, but analysts were not optimistic about prospects for a major breakthrough on the two countries' trade disputes a month before USA tariffs on Chinese goods are set to ramp up.

The publication said Trump could make the move as soon as next week, now that the Commerce Department has presented him with a report that he asked for on the possibility of doing so on "national security" grounds-the same justification the president used for his steel and aluminum tariffs.

Although the new pact inherits features from the old one, Trump has declared it a victory for the U.S. workers he claims were cheated by NAFTA and on Friday called it the most "modern and balanced agreement in history".

UK Prime Minister Theresa May said UK's friends and partners were already lining up to sign bilateral trade deal with the country after it quits the European Union next March.

The landscape was more rocky on the Russian Federation front.

President Donald Trump on November 30 lauded "good signs" ahead of talks with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on resolving their trade war.

While Trump's meeting with Xi is all but certain to go ahead, the United States president on Thursday abruptly scrapped his planned talks with Putin, citing Russia's recent seizure of Ukrainian vessels.

To force reform at the WTO, Trump's team has blocked new appointments to the world's top trade court, the WTO's Appellate Body which is now rapidly running out of judges, meaning it will be unable to issue binding rulings in trade disputes.

"It's not just for our people, all of the G20 nations have benefited so significantly by their exchanges and trade with each other".

But there was no significant unrest after the government vowed zero tolerance and declared a public holiday, shuttering the metro system and keeping the normally choked roads largely free of traffic.


"The summit seems a nonsense to me", call center worker Agustina Vianello, 25, told AFP.

Trump has thrown out the traditional U.S. playbook on free trade since his shock 2016 election, vowing to protect forgotten workers and put "America First".

"The essence of the G20 is to foster dialogue while respecting differences, and we hope to lay the foundations for consensus for the next 10 years", Macri said.

"The issues of concern regarding trade, investment and IPR (intellectual property rights) were not created overnight and can not be solved quickly", she said.

Laura Jaitman, the Argentine Treasury official shepherding the G-20′s financing talks, said leaders have made progress on finance and trade and was hopeful a joint statement would be possible.

Macron on Thursday rejected those who wish to confront economic challenges by being "bellicose, isolationist and closing down borders".

US President Donald Trump did not interact with Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose meeting he had cancelled over the Russia's seizure of Ukrainian navy vessels in Crimean waters, but chatted instead with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and French President Emmanuel Macron.

Bin Salman told Macron not to worry, but Macron countered, "I am anxious".

That had led to greater confidence among some advisers that Saturday's dinner with Xi could produce a breakthrough, even though no official has been willing to explicitly say they expect the two men to come to an agreement.

Such a statement would endorse the Paris Agreement on climate change, the source said, after Trump yanked the United States out of the pact in the face of increasingly urgent warnings from scientists that action is needed now.


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