Protectionism fears dominate G20 summit

While the G20 meeting yields little progress on global issues the US and China agree to a truce on increases in trade tariffs and May tries to build enthusiasm for future UK trade deals.

Two large tanker ships carry trade cargo
The potential to avoid an escalation of the trade war between the US and China, and an agreement to overhaul the World Trade Organisation (WTO) emerged as the most important outcomes of the G20 summit in Argentina.

Trump and Xi agree to pause on tariff rises 

Amid an atmosphere of fear over growing protectionism, prompted by President Donald Trump's actions, efforts to liberalise trade and reach new deals on subjects ranging from global warming to migration made little headway.However, major economies and financial markets were offered some optimism when, after Mr Trump and President Xi Jinping had dinner on Saturday, the US announced they had reached a 90-day truce in their trade dispute with China, delaying the imposition of stiff new tariffs on Chinese goods due to come into force at the beginning of the New Year.

Prime Minister May builds momentum for UK trade deals

And UK Prime Minister Theresa May held a series of meetings with other leaders on the sidelines of the summit and announced on Monday that Japan, Canada, Chile and hosts Argentina were among nations expressing enthusiasm to reach early, post-Brexit trade deals."Once we leave the EU, we can and we will strike ambitious trade deals," she said on Monday. "For the first time in more than 40 years we will have an independent trade policy, and we will continue to be a passionate advocate for the benefits open economies and free markets can bring."We will forge new and ambitious economic partnerships, and open up new markets for our goods and services in the fastest growing economies around the world."

Trump makes progress with renegotiations for US

Also on the sidelines of the conference in Buenos Aires, Mr Trump and his Canadian and Mexican counterparts signed a deal to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement, which the American president pulled out of earlier this year, describing it as the worst deal in the world.However, the ceremonial signing does not mean the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) will go into immediate effect because it still has to be ratified by the US Congress, where both Republican and Democrat politicians have expressed significant reservations. However, Mr Trump said, "I don't expect to have much of a problem."The announcement of an overhaul of the way the WTO oversees global trade also marked something of a victory for the US, which has long complained that the organisation has failed to force the Chinese to open their economy to the world while dumping subsidised products on international markets.However, nobody at the summit was able to say what reforms would be considered to make the WTO more effective.

China and Argentina strengthen trade and investment ties

One deal definitely agreed over the two days of talks involved Mr Xi and Argentina's Mauricio Macri who announced more than 30 agriculture and investment deals. Most significantly, Argentina's central bank has signed a deal with its Chinese counterpart to expand a currency swap programme by eight billion dollars.The agreement is an extension of a swap first agreed between the two countries in July 2017.The new deal, announced on Sunday, brings the total swap amount to $18.7 billion.
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