Trump Meets With Putin at the Hamburg G20 Summit

2016-11-30-logo_g20_gipfel_2017_in_hamburg

Kenji Hosokawa
July 7, 2017

The 2017 G20 (Group of Twenty) Summit held on July 7th and 8th in Hamburg, Germany is a significant international conference that attempts to resolve a number of global issues. As the rotating president of the G20 during this week’s summit, Germany has set the agenda for this year’s summit to revolve around economic, financial, trade, and climate change policy, as well as migration/refugee flows, and counter-terrorism.

The G20 forum originally emerged from the 1999 Asian financial crisis, as Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors met to resolve the international turbulence through coordinating “monetary, fiscal, and financial policies.” The 2008 global financial crisis further demonstrated the necessity for the forum in order to “improve the regulation and supervision of financial market participants”, and led subsequent G20 summits to be held annually.

The G20 is currently made up of 19 countries in addition to the EU, which are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. According to Europa, the 20 countries combined “produce around 80 percent of global economic output”, “account for three-quarters of global trade”, and contain “around two-thirds of the global population.”

The G20’s remarkable inclusion and representation are directly contrasted by the 7 member G7 forum held earlier this year. The G7 consists of the industrialized democracies of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. According to the Council on Foreign Relations, the future of the G7 has been “challenged by continued tensions over Ukraine, concerns over the eurozone’s economic performance, and the larger Group of Twenty’s (G20) rise as an alternative forum.” In addition, President Donald Trump shook the G7 members by questioning America’s “cooperation on global climate policy” and “its traditional commitment to free trade.” The G20 Summit provides international leaders the opportunity to meet with other leaders in informal sessions outside of the official conference. During the summit, President Trump held a two-hour meeting with Russian President Putin where they discussed the ongoing Syrian conflict, tensions in Ukraine, and the Russian tampering of U.S. elections. The G20’s influence and prestige have cast a shadow over the G7 forum, where the members of the larger, more inclusive summit will have the possibility to further contest President Trump’s stance on protectionism and isolationism.

Kenji Hosokawa
-Editorial Assistant for TransAtlantic Magazine for Summer of 2017, Citizen of U.S., Japan, Italy
-Political Science and Italian Student at UW-Madison

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