G20 meeting

U.S. Blocks Free Trade Endorsement

  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    As the G20 finance ministers were unable to agree on rejecting protectionism, it is likely that Germany will clash with the United States over this key issue.  
  • Facts


    Germany has a $65 billion trade surplus with the United States.
    On Friday Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel met U.S. President Donald Trump for the first time.

    Germany holds the presidency of the G20 this year and finance ministers met Friday and Saturday in Baden Baden.

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G20 Finanzministertreffen
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin in Baden Baden, a G20 meeting which broke with the past as officials could not agree on a pledge for free trade. Source: DPA

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.

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