Mar 20, 2017

In the G20, failure has a hundred fathers

The G20 has formally abandoned free trade, under pressure from the United States. Meantime, Scott Morrison is hyping his own role, write Bernard Keane and Glenn Dyer.

Scott Morrison

Thank goodness for the presence on the weekend of Australia's own Scott Morrison at Baden Baden, where G20 finance ministers gathered ahead of the annual leaders' summit in July. The meeting, where the US was represented by new Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, produced a communique that dramatically watered down the body's traditional strong commitment to free trade, in response to demands from the Trump administration.

According to sources speaking to the Financial Review, Morrison almost single-handedly -- with some support from the Canadians -- restored a mention of trade to the meeting communique, thereby preventing its complete obliteration (although foreign media referred to it as a "token" mention). Morrison had talked up American engagement and continued G20 enthusiasm for free trade before the meeting. Now he was the one rescuing it from the Americans.

Free Trial

Proudly annoying those in power since 2000.

Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial to keep reading and get the best of Crikey straight to your inbox

By starting a free trial, you agree to accept Crikey’s terms and conditions


Leave a comment

5 thoughts on “In the G20, failure has a hundred fathers

  1. Persistently Baffled

    Kind of makes one think “G20? No free trade? What’s the point, then?”

  2. Roger Clifton

    Saudi Arabia is also a member of the IPCC, along with the rest of the United Nations. The oil-producers consistently obstruct clear statements of climate threat in the IPCC reports.

    The original intent (early 1980s or earlier) in including everybody’s expert was to ensure that nobody’s “expert” could deny climate change. Now, with US scientists strongly represented in the climate community (and for the time being, on the IPCC itself), they are in a strong position to say, “I told you so” when the wounded climate bites.

    It may even strengthen the authority of climate science to be so tested, then proven so right.

  3. 3 Policy options

    Whatever happened to Australia’s other “initiative” from the Brisbane G20 – the Global Infrastructure Hub. It cost $30 million to Australian taxpayers and millions more to other G20 countries, but what has it done?

  4. Sue Miills

    “Free trade’ almost as unmentioned as ‘Stimulus’ & Climate Change? What are they talking about?

  5. Dion Giles

    Free trade is slave trade. Greedy pigs import goods bought for a song from debased Asian countries (one of the worst being China) where there are no independent trade unions or genuine elections. Goods produced on the cheap under these slave conditions are imported by greedies into countries like America and Australia where civilised social and working conditions including labour laws have been won by decades of struggle. The low prices generated by slave conditions bring pressure on home country workers to degrade their working conditions amid exhortations to be “internationally competitive” (i.e. with slaves). Free trade thus perpetuates slavery in the third world and downward pressure on conditions in the civilised world. Tariffs to deprive the slave traders of the price advantage are derided from Mr Greed’s megaphones as (gasp. rattle, shudder) “protectionism”. If Mr Trump follows through on his thought bubbles calling for tariff protection of American working conditions, then more strength to his elbow. To shed the name “Another Liberal Party” the ALP nationally could well follow suit.

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details