June 30, 2019
The G20 Comes To A Close: A Look At The Leaders Declaration
This weekend, as the annual G20 Summit came to a close, leaders from participating countries – and the EU – released their Leaders Declaration.
The text of the Declaration can be found here.
Like previous declarations, the 2019 version covers a wide range of topics from trade and the economy to anti-corruption, from agriculture to sustainability, and from women’s empowerment to displacement and migration.
Among the most interesting – and relevant – portions of the statement:
- A commitment to “use all policy tools to achieve strong sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth” while ensuring that central bank decisions are well communicated and affirming exchange rate commitments made by the Finance Ministers in March 2018.
- Affirming support for the “necessary reform” of the WTO and working to ensure that bilateral and regional free trade agreements are WTO-consistent.
- Committing to reach a consensus by fall 2019 on ways for the work of the Global Forum on Steel Excess Capacity to continue (addressing excess capacity has been a leading U.S. priority, as evidenced by the levying of steel and aluminum tariffs)
- Supporting innovation and the digital economy by sharing “good practices on effective policy and regulatory approaches and frameworks.”
- An understanding that growing public confidence in AI technologies requires and a commitment to a “human-centered approach to AI technologies,” and a recognition that as the Internet of Things (IoT) grows, there is a need to work on the challenges they present.
- A recognition of the challenges of aging populations in many member countries and the need to address the labor and employment challenges that this poses.
- A re-commitment to the Paris Agreement on climate change, which the U.S. fought to exclude but was out-voted.
- A recognition that refugees are a “global concern with humanitarian, political, social and economic consequences” and a need to address the “root causes” of their displacement, but excludes any commitment on how this should be addressed.
Interestingly, the statement makes no mention of the need to address and eliminate protectionism. This is notable, as the U.S. and other member countries have moved steadily toward policies that enable their domestic industries, often at the expense of free trade.
Many of the actions agreed to in the Declaration will be followed up in separate ministerial meetings, and it will be important to watch progress on these commitments.
Additionally, in a piece tomorrow we will explore what the detente between the U.S. and China means for trade and the larger bilateral relationship going forward.