G-20 Avoided ‘Taboo’ Words for U.S., China to Agree to Deal: Report

In order to get the U.S. and China to sign on to an agreement to overhaul the global trade system at the G-20 in Argentina this week, certain words and pledges were reportedly omitted from the official summit communique. “A number of words that we used to have always in G-7 and G-20 summit communiques became kind of taboos,” a European official told Reuters on Sunday. “We have American taboos and Chinese taboos.” The word “protectionism” was reportedly dropped in order to appease the U.S. administration, which has become sensitive to criticism over President Trump’s tariffs on Chinese goods, steel, and aluminum. As a result, the G-20 communique left out a pledge to fight protectionism for the first time since 2008, the report states. China also is said to have condemned the call for “fair trade practices” in the communique, due to sensitivities surrounding criticism of its trade practices. Reuters also reports the U.S. approved of language that stressed the importance of the “multilateral trading system” only after the phrasing recognized that multilateralism was “falling short of its objectives.”