For all the prophecies of doom over protectionism, this year's G20 summit has actually struck a more positive note. World leaders are speaking of closer, expanded cooperation. Even America says it's open to free trade... so long as it's 'fair'.
Germany's finance minister defended open markets after a G20 meeting in Buenos Aires. Officials from other countries also warned against protectionism ahead of planned US tariffs on steel and aluminum.
The two-day gathering in Argentina comes at a tense moment, just a few days before the US will impose higher tariffs on steel and aluminum imports and new US trade measures reportedly targeted at China.
Chancellor Angela Merkel has spoken with Chinese President Xi Jinping about steel overcapacity and the US threat of tariffs. They are to work on solutions through the G20 group of industrialized nations.
Economy Minister Peter Altmaier holds out the hope that the European Union will be exempt from tariffs on steel and aluminum imports to the United States. Now the waiting game begins.
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