The G-20 is over and what did it teach us? Probably the most pronounced lesson is that the USA is drawing back from the balance of global power – hardly surprising to anyone who’s been following the steps taken by the new leadership.
Angela Merkel chaired the talks and certainly made great efforts in promoting communication, but the tensions were hard to miss. Let’s look at the language used in the communique regarding steel production – a serious dispute – suggested that a trade war could still be on its way. In fact, the communique signed by all the leaders was so “weak” that it’s clear that a lot has changed.
Climate change talks were obviously shadowed by Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement. However, the general atmosphere surrounding the new President was more positive than what it was during the G-7 and the news dealt less with conflicts and more with Ivanka sitting – briefly – at Trump’s sit between Xi Jinping and Theresa May.
While Merkel managed to keep the peace while keeping her distance from Trump, according to reports, Emmanuel Macron and the US President clashed behind closed doors, especially regarding the US approach regarding the battle against climate change. The public meeting between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin also drew a lot of attention, although nothing major actually took place.
At the end of the day though, it’s obvious that the G-20 didn’t change much in the real world. However, it did send very clear singles regarding the change in the balance of power and world leadership roles. It also left plenty of unanswered questions.