At the meeting of G20 finance ministers in Baden Baden, the United States blocked a communique in favor of free trade and condemning protectionism.
It proved impossible to agree on a wording for a final statement at the close of the two-day meeting.
For the past decade, at the close of such meetings, G20 finance ministers have agreed to endorse free trade and oppose economic isolationism.
Officials fought long on Friday and Saturday to reach a consensus, sources close to the delegates told Handelsblatt. Ultimately, they left out such a pledge and merely stated that trade is important for the development of the world economy.