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The meaning of the G20 meeting

America in the World

July 12, 2017
Plain English Version

Leader of the G20 nations at Hamburg, Germany

From the end of World War II to today, America and Europe have worked together as partners. The common enemy was Russia. But Russia was not the only reason for the alliance.

The nations shared many values. Free elections and a free press were just two of them. The most important result was the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). It promised mutual support in the event of an attack on any of the members.

Other countries and groups formed the G20. The purpose of the G20 is to deal with the global economy.

The members of the G20 are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union. They represent about two-thirds of the world’s economy.

The G20 members met in Germany last weekend. It was the most important meeting ever held by the G20. The reason for the drama was the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States. The U.S. is the world ‘s biggest economy.

For years, most nations said that global trade was the future. That included the U.S. But Trump campaigned on the slogan “America First.” That means trade agreements have to favor America. It is hard to be a leader in Europe or elsewhere who says “My country second.”

Many experts regard President Trump as a threat to global trade and globalism. He pulled America out of the Paris Climate Agreement. The Paris Agreement is a means to reduce the threat of climate change.

Every country in the G20, except the U.S., said it was for the agreement. The leaders of Germany and France were the most outspoken about the U.S. position.

Finally, the world has had to face a new reality. America is no longer a trusted partner. How has the world dealt with this new reality? Observers say the world is getting ready for a different future.

America may be starting to leave the world stage. If it were not for its money and military might, many leaders of other countries would say “goodbye” to the U.S.

More Americans voted for Hillary Clinton than Donald Trump. But election rules gave him the victory.

Are President Trump’s views about trade and climate change the views of most Americans? It is a good question. The leaders of many other nations are no longer waiting to find out.

Source: The New York Times July 9, 2017

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