China & US trade war dominates G20 Osaka Summit

The trade dispute between China and the US has dominated the agenda of G20 in Osaka. Professor Fariborz Moshirian from the UNSW Business School says it was a difficult summit, and discussion of trade means that other issues did not get much attention.

“The current trade dispute has increased the risk of substantial global economic slowdown over the next year,” warns Professor Fariborz Moshirian from the UNSW Business School. “However, the Summit may not necessarily lead to a breakthrough for the trade dispute between the G2: the US and China. This means that many great ideas put forward by Japan for this year’s summit will be given less time for consultation."

He argues the only sustainable and long-term solution for this trade dispute will be to revamp the operation of the WTO (World Trade Organization), to create much stronger global governance for trade and investment and intellectual property, and to promote multilateral free trade agreements.

“In this new setting of substantial global governance reform, the US and China must follow all policies and rules associated with subsidies, intellectual property, fair trade and investment and ensure that no national policy could jeopardise an inclusive, sustained and strong economic growth around the world,” says Professor Moshirian, who is Director of the Institute of Global Finance at UNSW Sydney.

While Japan had initially placed climate change as an essential issue for discussion at this Summit, on the grounds that it was essential to enhance environmental and economic growth together, it is no longer seriously pursuing this theme.

“Japan agreed to take up the US position with respect to climate change, so the draft final communique does not refer to global warming or decarbonisation or the Paris Agreement,” he says. “Unlike the previous Summit, when the US was singled out on climate change, this Summit may end up with a united final communique on climate change.  At the last Summit,  the climate section of the G20 communiqué included a G19+1.”

Professor Moshirian adds that while the focus of the Summit was on whether China and the US could resolve their trade and investment disputes, there are some great issues that should have been discussed at this Summit, as initially proposed by Japan late last year. These include how to promote science and technology innovation to solve social problems and foster a human-centred society, with an emphasis on women, youth and people with disabilities. This would produce a ‘post-industrial 4.0 society.’


You are free to republish this article both online and in print. We ask that you follow some simple guidelines.

Please do not edit the piece, ensure that you attribute the author, their institute, and mention that the article was originally published on Business Think.

By copying the HTML below, you will be adhering to all our guidelines.

Press Ctrl-C to copy