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G-20 summit: Nations diverge with USA on climate, trade

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the other BRICS leaders on the sidelines of G-20 summit

At the outset of his meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Buenos Aires on Friday, Trump voiced optimism about the prospects of the planned U.S.

To do so, they had to bow to US and Chinese demands to drop some of the pledges that have become hallmarks of the Group of 20 industrialized nations, which represents two-thirds of the global population. "I think really the headline story is on trade reform".

"Everyone agrees that the WTO should be reformed", German Chancellor Angela Merkel said.

First among those taboos is "protectionism".

The climate accords sets targets for countries to reduce carbon emissions to fight global warming and keep global temperatures under 2 C. President Donald Trump announced in June 2017 that the USA was immediately canceling its participation in the accords.

With trade tensions between the U.S and China dominating the summit, the Europeans sought to play mediator and also scaled back their expectations, cutting out mention of rising protectionism - mainly aimed at Trump.

China, meanwhile, steadfastly opposed the inclusion of the usual calls for "fair trade practices", delegates said.

Even the word "multilateralism" itself has fallen out of favor in a group created to foster global cooperation.

The United States was the only country that attended the G20 summit, a meeting of the world's twenty largest economies, which did not express its support for the Paris Climate Accords in a joint statement issued at the end of the two-day meeting. The World Trade Organisation was criticised and said it was in urgent need of reform.

The U.S. goods trade deficit with Japan totaled $68.85 billion in 2017, the third-largest among countries with which the United States generated a trade deficit, according to U.S. Commerce Department data.

Despite deep divisions going into the summit and resistance from the U.S., European Union officials said Saturday that countries also are making progress on a final statement that will acknowledge problems with the World Trade Organization but commit to reforming it. "The U.S. accepted a text". "We therefore support the necessary reform of the WTO to improve its functioning", the final declaration said.

He said: "We have agreed on a statement that reflects the necessity of revitalising trade, of revitalising the WTO". -China trade war on the world economy at a session of their two-day summit that started Friday, a Japanese government official said.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the ongoing closed-door discussions. "After APEC, we knew it would be important for the Chinese to feel there was no ganging up on them".

At the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit last month, leaders of the 21 members failed to finalize a joint declaration for the first time since the forum began in 1993, against a backdrop of the deepening divide between Washington and Beijing.

Their countries have been embroiled in an escalating trade war with new USA tariffs on China goods set to take effect a month from now.

In addition, the declaration also touched on the 2016 Paris agreement on climate change, reiterating the G20 intent to continue "to tackle climate change, while promoting sustainable development and economic growth".

One EU official told reporters that the G-20 summit's final statement is likely to reflect 19 members supporting the Paris climate accord with the US stating its opposition to it.