G20 powers open two days of summit talks in crisis-hit Argentina on Friday after a stormy buildup dominated by US President Donald Trump’s consensus-bucking crusade to realign world trade.
Shortly before the summit kicks off, Trump’s “America First” charge will bear fruit with the signing in Buenos Aires of a successor to the North American free trade pact NAFTA.
The revamped accord, called the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), looks a lot like the one it replaces. But enough has been tweaked for Trump to declare victory on behalf of the US workers he claims were cheated by NAFTA.
Yet, underlining that the new deal may not be quite the game-changer he professes, the signing will be executed by senior trade negotiators from the three countries rather than their leaders attending the G20.