Translated "Avante!"article by Luis Carapinha, Member of the International Department
The recent G20 summit in Japan involved some obvious stage-setting. There were some clearly serious disagreements and differences on issues such as trade and climate – and this was notorious in the final statement, even in spite of the host country’s efforts to appease things. The presence of serious contradictions and disagreements was notorious, regarding issues such as trade and climate that were, by the way, highlighted in the final release, even in spite of the host’s efforts in attempting to work out details. But in Osaka, Trump chose to take a pause in the confrontation and escalation of taxes, that have involved even the USA and its imperialist triad “allies”. It should be noted that the last G7 summit had an unprecedented ending, amidst an atmosphere of friction and personal insults, and with no agreement on the final statement.
Basically, the G20 was founded in 1999, due to the G7’s need to involve emerging countries and to address unequal development dynamics (a feature of capitalism), and also to address the impetuous rise of China, whose upcoming central role was already clear in the world’s emerging realignment of forces.It was at the height of the great world recession, that the G20 model format asserted itself on the international arena as the primary forum for economic coordination, overriding the G7+1 (with Russia still as a minor partner). However, the 2008 summit conclusions, particularly those concerning the promises of a new level international economic cooperation and the implementation of financial markets regulation with tight rules, were (as was to be expected) not accepted. The USA banks, currently hold 12% more in financial derivatives than they did at the beginning of the 2007/08 crisis – amounting to about twice as much as the world’s GDP!
Osaka confirms the G20’s tendency to become empty and inoperative. Its fragmentation was proved by the weight and profusion of bilateral and multilateral meetings. Among the latter, were the BRICS (in spite of Bolsonaro and his vassal behavior towards the USA), the RIC (Russia, India and China) and China and the African countries that were present. On a bilateral level, attention was focused on Trump’s meetings with Xi Jinping and Putin.
With the end of prosecutor Muller’s investigation, dialogue with Russia restarted, in a certain way. But relations between both countries remain at their historically lowest level: Insignificant, concerning the economic level, and in all the rest it is hard to avoid what is literally a collision track, with anti-Russian sanctions and the destruction, by Washington, of agreements concerning armament control, NATO growth and expansion, and the Ukraine, Syria, Iran, Venezuela “conflicts”, etc.
The announcement of a return to negotiations, regarding the USA’s trade war against China, was the main outcome of the Japan meeting. However, and in comparison with the latest “truce”, about 6 months ago during the G20 in Argentina, Trump’s tariffs standard and discriminatory measures are at a very high level. Beijing has remained firm regarding its red lines, and the USA is feeling the boomerang effect of its tariff rage. Although in Washington, consensus is widening around the need to confront the strategic challenge that China represents, the conflictive issue is about how to do it without stepping on business’ primacy and profits. The procession is just beginning, but only a few doubt the serious repercussions of a trade war spiral – in essence, the attempt to contain China – in international economy and policy.