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G20 summit opens amid climate, trade tensions

Friday, July 07, 2017 - 01:47

Leaders from the world's top economies braced for tough talks with U.S. President Donald Trump on climate change and trade as the G20 summit got underway in Germany, amid fierce street protest. David Pollard reports.

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There was the blue, the red - and for his fans, the alright. While outside there were flames of orange. This G20 a rainbow summit perhaps, but not a happy coalition. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHIEF ECONOMIC ADVISER, CEBR, VICKY PRYCE, SAYING: "We're talking about not really united group of people who seem to be going in different directions and that's before you start looking at politics and what's going on in the Middle East, for example, Korea, China." China has already been feted this week as a guest of honour. By hosts Germany as they chewed over possible trade ties. New alliances in vogue as old ones go out of fashion. Amid tensions over a US threat to restrict imports - in this case, of steel. (SOUNDBITE) (German) EUROPEAN COMMISSION PRESIDENT, JEAN-CLAUDE JUNCKER, SAYING: "You've already heard that some are considering protectionist measures against national imports in the near future. Should this happen, the European Union will know how to react sufficiently." (SOUNDBITE) (English) GLOBAL FINANCIAL ECONOMIST, COMMERZBANK, PETER DIXON, SAYING: "All of this will play out I think in terms of Donald Trump's rhetoric with regards to the US's openness to trade so I think we'll have to keep an eye on Mr. Trump's tweets to see exactly how how he sees the significance of the the current international trade arrangements." Though Trump's tweets were talking of other things ... Ahead of a global first. Two leaders, one handshake providing the moment. If a schedule conflict of later Trump/Putin talks saw some shake heads. The US president unlikely to attend discussions at the same time - on the other divisive summit issue: climate change. The US pulled out the Paris climate deal last month Trump's absence from the day's talks: a signal perhaps he might be even harder to budge - than some of the other attendees.

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G20 summit opens amid climate, trade tensions

Friday, July 07, 2017 - 01:47