Once dominant, the United States finds itself isolated at G-20

German police detain protester during a demonstration at the G20 summit in Hamburg

"There was a question mark there, as to whether or not the EU. would be able to continue signing free trade agreements in the future", said André Sapir, an global trade expert and a former economic adviser to the European Union's Director General for Economic and Financial Affairs.

The future Economic Partnership Agreement between the European Union and Japan "will be the model of the economical order of the 21st century", Abe told the other world leaders, according to Maruyama - Trump among them.

Merkel used the word "deplore" to describe her reaction to the US withdrawal from the Paris pact that Trump's predecessor Barack Obama played a prominent role in negotiating. "We are prepared to take up arms if need be".

Policies that could fall under national security include China's new Cyber Security Act, which is under WTO scrutiny from Japan, South Korea, the United States and others; Ukraine's gas pipeline reforms; and Russia's trade restrictions on Ukraine.

Cohn added that while the USA obviously has chosen to get out of the Paris agreement, "we do go out of our way to say in there that that doesn't mean we don't support the environment and we're still working for the environment".

Also, invoking national security is all but taboo at the World Trade Organisation, the arbiter of global trade rules, because it is largely seen as a way to wage economic warfare by citing arbitrary defense concerns.

"There is a danger that the summit will lead to polarisation between the USA and other countries" on climate change and other issues, warned Oxford Analytics economist Adam Slater. South Korea supplies 12 percent of USA steel imports, while Mexico supplies 9 percent, Turkey and Japan supply 7 percent, respectively, Russian Federation supplies 6 percent to the US, and Germany is responsible for 4 percent of all US steel imports.

The European Union has already promised to retaliate if it is hit by USA steel tariffs.

The largest exporters of steel to the United States are Canada, Brazil, South Korea, Mexico and Turkey, according to IHS Global Trade Atlas. The German leader pointedly noted that the other 19 of the group's 20 nation's agreed the climate change agreement was "irreversible".




- Prior to his departure for Europe, President Trump tweeted his disappointment with China for not doing enough to put pressure on North Korea about its nuclear program.

Another official from a European delegation said the talks had shown that a new worldwide consensus on economic issues could be slowly rebuilt despite the challenges thrown by Mr. Trump's election.

Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet regional rival Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, at a time when both are anxious about North Korea.

Trump's commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross, is expected to announce soon whether steel tariffs can be justified on national security grounds.

An assertive USA president willing to tear up existing deals.

G-20 meetings, which are held once a year in a rotation of countries, typically end with a joint statement from every nation about a range of issues that can include economic policy, global assistance and security.

But while concessions made at Mar-a-Lago to open Chinese market access for United States beef, biotechnology applications, and financial services will benefit American businesses, more significant Chinese structural reforms have run into much greater difficulty.

On climate, too, the United States - just a year ago a leading voice in favor of global action to reduce carbon emissions - is on its own path.

But at this summit, the official said, "there are lots of blank spots" in the drafts of the final statement - "and not on the easy topics". The leaders of the group of 20 meet July 7 and 8.

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