The right-wing media wasted little time panning Prime Minister Scott Morrison for not securing a meeting with US President Donald Trump at the G20 summit in Argentina. But it seems their enthusiasm may have been premature.
Despite the US president’s hectic schedule, Morrison has flagged he could meet with Trump, even though he’s not included on Trump’s formal program.
Of course, Trump’s formal program has undergone a recent deletion, after he decided not to meet with Putin following the recent Ukraine–Russia conflict.
Though nothing is for certain, Morrison has not ruled out a potential discussion with Trump. As AAP reports, right before heading to the summit, Morrison told reporters to ‘watch this space, as he (Trump) would say’.
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The G20 summit agenda
The G20 (or Group of 20) consists of Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States and the European Union.
Major issues that have built up the excitement around the summit include the ongoing trade tensions between China and the US, the murder of Kashoggi and, of course, yet another call to place more importance on climate action.
Finance Minister and Mathias Cormann will replace Treasurer Josh Frydenberg as Morrison’s company on the trip.
Morrison, along with other world leaders, will participate in a series of sessions over the weekend dealing with everything from anti-corruption, education, and jobs to climate and energy.
Thankfully, it looks like global warming is one of the least pressing issues at the summit.
Many leaders are wishing to meet with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, hoping he can answer concerns about the murder of Khashoggi.
However, of greater interest will be a meeting between US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping. The meeting could result in a trade deal between the two nations — as well as Mexico and Canada — that will end the trade war once and for all.
Why the G20 summit is so highly anticipated
Prior to the summit, International Monetary Fund boss Christine Lagarde warned against further trade barriers between US and China. In particular, she highlighted Mr Trump’s proposed car tariffs to protect American auto jobs. She said:
‘We have had a good stretch of solid growth by historical standards, but now we are facing a period where significant risks are materialising and darker clouds are looming.
‘Rising trade barriers are ultimately self-defeating for all involved. Thus, it is imperative that all countries steer clear of new trade barriers, while reversing recent tariffs.’
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will also be attending the summit. He has told reporters that the world is due for ‘stepped-up global leadership’.
‘Strong economic growth, reduced inequality, and limiting carbon emissions are possible and compatible.
‘But we need greater ambition. We are in a race for our future. It’s a race we can and simply must win.’
It’s hard for anyone to disagree with that.
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