Protecting growth: G20 meets

Protecting growth: G20 meets

G20 finance ministers will meet in Baden-Baden on Friday; their German hosts appear eager to curb the re-emerging trend towards protectionism.

Photo: Wikimedia

Photo: Wikimedia

G20 finance ministers will meet in Baden-Baden on Friday; their German hosts appear eager to curb the re-emerging trend towards protectionism.

Drafts of the main G20 communique suggest the group will take a conciliatory approach to the Trump administration’s trade views. The document has dropped a declaration on resisting all forms of protectionism – a mainstay of such communiques for the last decade.

In response, Germany is breaking with tradition by issuing a separate document that defends free trade values. Berlin will find allies in the emerging economies of the G20, such as Brazil and Mexico – which rely heavily on export markets – but won’t have any luck convincing the Americans.

Finance ministers will also review a 2014 commitment to boost global growth rates by an additional 2%. The deadline for this target is set for the end of next year. But with many G20 nations facing turbulent political and economic realities, implementing the reforms necessary to achieve their objectives is proving a challenge.