Donald Trump has issues. And the team of G-20 “sherpas” negotiating the joint statement to sum up the annual leaders’ summit were more than happy to take note of them if it meant the explosive American president wouldn’t blow up their work.
One of Trump’s issues is the multilateral trading system that most other G-20 leaders cherish, but that he believes has long allowed other countries to take advantage of the United States.
So at around 5 a.m. on Saturday morning, after nearly a week of intense negotiations, the sherpas wrote an awkward line into the fourth paragraph of their draft communique: “We also note current trade issues.”
Trump also has issues with the Paris climate change accords. But rather than argue the point, 19 of the G-20 leaders used the document to reaffirm their commitment to fight global warming, and a separate paragraph was written laying out Trump’s singular opposition.
“The United States reiterates its decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, and affirms its strong commitment to economic growth and energy access and security, utilizing all energy sources and technologies, while protecting the environment,” they wrote.
The White House was thrilled. And the rest of the G20 could hardly have been happier.