G20 achieves breakthrough for agriculture, the climate and the consumer

The block confirms commitment against unilateral protectionism

Buenos Aires.

The G20’s agriculture ministers issued a joint statement, confirming their agreement to avoid “unnecessary obstacles” to trade as global tensions escalate off the back of tariffs imposed by US President Donald Trump.

The group also praised the World Trade Organization, which President Trump has antagonized by blocking the appointment of arbitration judges. “Recognizing the important role of the WTO, we agree to continue the reform process of agricultural trade rules,” they said.

Germany calls it a ‘Huge breakthrough’

Trade disagreements between the European Union and the US have thawed somewhat after last week’s meeting between President Trump and EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. However, as Germany’s Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner pointed out, there is no guarantee Germany can import the number of US soybeans Washington wants it to.

However, Klöckner was largely optimistic, saying: “With this G20 meeting, we have succeeded in clear breakthroughs for agriculture, the climate, and therefore for the consumer. We achieved more than we thought we would. That’s a huge breakthrough.”

The ministers talked about, among other things, combining productivity with sustainability and crop diversity. On the sidelines of the meeting, US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said that the amount of a newly-announced bailout to US farmers would amount to between $7 billion and $8 billion (€6-6.8 billion). Farmers have been some of the hardest hit by Trump’s tariffs.

The G20 group, comprising Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, Britain, the United States and the EU, control about 69 per cent of all arable land and 80 per cent of the global trade in agricultural products. They were meeting in Buenos Aires.

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