published on Global Summitry 17 May 2018
At the beginning of its G20 year, the German Presidency attached little priority to trade policy. That stance had to change with the ascension to office of a U.S. President unwilling to follow the diplomatic niceties on trade policy of his predecessors. Moreover, following the U.S. withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in the first quarter of 2017, the fear grew that election-era protectionist slogans might be converted into action by the United States. This article assesses how effectively the German Presidency and the G20 process in general managed the Trump-induced “stress test” on trade policy. The non-binding form of international economic cooperation, evident with the Leaders’ Summit appears, in our opinion, to have been only partially successful.