G20 Summit: Donald Trump pitches for free and fair trade

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Washington | Published: June 30, 2017 2:28:50 PM

US President Donald Trump would seek a level playing field for all and a free and fair trade at the G20 Summit in Germany, his top trade official has said.

US President Donald Trump would seek a level playing field for all and a free and fair trade at the G20 Summit. (Reuters image)

US President Donald Trump would seek a level playing field for all and a free and fair trade at the G20 Summit in Germany, his top trade official has said. “The goal of US trade policy is to expand trade in a way that are free and fair. Insisting on fair trade is the best way to ensure the long-term strength of the international trading system,” Gary Cohen, assistant to the US President on Economic Policy told reporters. Trump travels to Germany next week to attend the G20, which among others would be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“We look forward to engaging in free and fair trade with the G20 economies. The US stands firm against all unfair trading practices, including massive distortions in the global steel market and other non-market practices that harm US workers,” Cohen said. “We ask the G20 economies to join us in this effort and to take concrete actions to solve these problems. But let us be clear: We will act to ensure a level playing field for all,” Cohen said in a preview of the trip. Noting that the President has embarked on a strong pro- growth agenda featuring deregulation, tax reform, and infrastructure investment, Cohen said on the trip, Trump will support G20 countries continuing to proactively use all the tools at their disposal — monetary, fiscal, and structural — to strengthen growth in their countries.

“Importantly, the G20 also needs to do more to address global imbalances, especially from overcapacity in industrial sectors,” he said. On energy, Trump remains committed to working with world leaders and private sectors on sound environmental policies and on innovative technologies, he said. “We have been mindful of the fact that, while renewables have a role to play, we cannot achieve the growth or anti- poverty agenda we want without strong contributions from clean fossil fuel technologies which, in the United States, is a global leader,” he added.

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On climate, Trump looks forward to discussing his decision to leave the Paris Agreement with the other G20 leaders, Cohen said. “He’ll make clear that he has decided to leave the agreement because it was a bad deal for the US, but that he is open to reengaging in the agreement or a new agreement if it makes sense for the American people,” he said. Another focus of the G20 will be famine and other global crises, he said. “We are focused on the crisis in South Sudan, Nigeria, Yemen, and Somalia, and recently announced that the United States would provide more than USD 329 million in additional humanitarian assistance in this crisis — bringing the total US humanitarian assistance here to nearly USD 1.2 billion in fiscal year 2017,” he said.

The United States is one of the largest donors of humanitarian assistance here. The US assistance represents the best of Americans’ generosity and goodwill. “It will also improve our national security by helping to stabilise insecure regions while building strong relations with nations and people around the world,” he added. Chen said the US is pleased that the G20 will have a focus on women’s economic empowerment. “We believe that gender equality and women’s empowerment is vital in today’s labour market. We are advocating for more equality and equal access to the workplace, financial services, and the labour market with quality employment for women and men all throughout the world,” he said.

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