Ivanka also came away from the summit with $50 million in aid, given by the U.S. State Department, for a new World Bank fund that helps women entrepreneurs start businesses. Ivanka helped create the fund, along with World Bank President Jim Yong Kim. This comes as Trump has ordered massive cuts to the State Department’s foreign aid funds in exchange for policies that focus on his “America First” policies.
Another tense moment in summit negotiations arose from Trump’s views on trade deals. Previous G20 statements called for world leaders to denounce protectionism, and while the communique is mostly symbolic, this phrase has taken a more important role after the global financial crisis. Trump often criticizes trade deals, and the meeting’s final statement included language that said trade deals must be “reciprocal and mutually advantageous” or else countries could use “legitimate trade defense instruments.” The G20 language already allows countries to take defensive measures, and Merkel said the final language would not change anything. She did, however, single out the trade negotiation as “extraordinarily difficult … due to specific positions that the United States has taken." She called the final language of the statement a win.
It read, in part: “We will keep markets open noting the importance of reciprocal and mutually advantageous trade and investment frameworks and the principle of nondiscrimination, and continue to fight protectionism including all unfair trade practices and recognize the role of legitimate trade defense instruments in this regard.”
Despite the U.S. pushback, and the media’s attention on Trump, the meeting was largely seen as a win for Merkel. The summit is meant to draw lines around common ground and interests, and with the U.S. trying to step out on some of the most important issues, Merkel played the role of the patient wrangler. After France raised objections to allowing the U.S. to be singled out of the climate agreement, she was credited with reaching a compromise. Even Trump was greatly impressed with Merkel’s work. “You have been amazing,” Trump said, “and you have done a fantastic job. And thank you very much, Chancellor. Incredible.”
The two even made time to make up for the handshake they missed when Merkel last visited the White House.