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Can the Osaka G20 summit resuscitate the rules-based trading system?

21 2 0

ECONOMISTS are fretting over the trade turmoil that currently roils the world economy. Worst case scenarios are now front and centre, including the prospect of a WTO minus one (the United States or China), or perhaps even the world minus the WTO.

The US–China trade war has significantly degraded the rules-based trading regime. The upcoming Osaka G20 summit over 28–29 June could send the global trade system either into intensive care or to the coroner.

We should not expect the G20 to end the turmoil. The two largest members of the G20, the United States and China, are talking past each other. One may even walk out of the meeting to make a statement over their unhappiness at discussions not going their way. At a minimum, a success at the G20 would be to forge a common position in favour of supporting international trade for inclusive and sustained growth without losing anyone along the way.

Of course, on the sidelines, the United States and China may have informal meetings to make progress on their dispute. But even so, a bilateral deal that will still weaken the rules-based trading regime is likely.

SEE ALSO: How Japan manages US trade pressure

In preparation for the G20, eight ministerial meetings have been held in various locations in Japan, including trade and digital ministers having their first joint meeting. What can be concluded from the 8–9 June G20 Ministerial Statement on Trade and Digital Economy........

© Asian Correspondent