At G-20 Summit, It l]Looks More and More Like Trump Against the World


“There was a question mark there, as to whether or not the E.U. would be able to continue signing free trade agreements in the future,” said André Sapir, an international trade expert and a former economic adviser to the European Union’s Director General for Economic and Financial Affairs. “This indeed demonstrates that the E.U. is able to do that.”

“Going into the G-20, it’s demonstrating that indeed the E.U. and Japan want to continue to have a liberal trade agenda and show that there are other countries able to pursue this agenda without the United States,” Sapir said.

There are also signs that other nations are willing to challenge Trump more directly. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who faces elections in September in a country where Trump is deeply unpopular, said she would press Trump about his trade threats as well as his recent decision to withdraw from the 2016 Paris climate agreement that aimed to curb greenhouse gas emissions. In advance of the meeting, Merkel and Trump discussed “global steel overcapacity” in a phone call on Monday, something that could become the top trade issue at the summit. Germany is a large exporter of steel and officials there worry they could be caught in any U.S. crackdown.

“There has been no love lost between Germany and Trump from the beginning, but now Chancellor Merkel is operating in campaign mode where all the numbers show that President Trump is deeply disliked,” said Michal Baranowski, director of the Warsaw office for the German Marshall Fund of the United States, a think tank. “The concern is certainly very high about protectionist language and potentially protectionist ideas coming from the Trump administration.”

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