Merkel Reaches Out to Trump With Pledge to Work for G-20 Unity

  • U.S. a key G-20 partner and welcome at Hamburg summit: Merkel
  • Chancellor still says U.S. climate move ‘breaks one’s heart’

What the U.S. Departure Means for the Paris Agreement

German Chancellor Angela Merkel reached out to U.S. President Donald Trump ahead of his visit to Europe next month, saying she’ll work to keep the Group of 20 nations united even after Trump’s decision to quit the Paris accord on climate change.

Merkel and Trump at the G-7 summit.

Photographer: Miguel Medina/AFP via Getty Images

Speaking on a panel with non-governmental organizations pushing for more social and environmentally-friendly policies from the world’s leading economies, Merkel said the U.S. is a key G-20 partner and Trump is welcome at the summit she’ll host in the port city of Hamburg on July 7-8.

All the same, agreement will not be easy, she said. So-called sherpas -- government officials reporting directly to leaders -- are working hard on a draft of the final statement, or communique, and will face “strenuous negotiations” the night before the summit in order to forge a consensus, Merkel said. There won’t be a concluding statement “unless everyone has agreed” to it, she added.

Merkel’s comments suggest a determination to avoid U.S. isolation in the face of dismay at Trump’s “America First” policies. European and other G-20 members have expressed concern at the president’s skepticism of global free trade and his decision earlier this month to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate pact, which he said favors other nations at the expense of American workers.

“It really breaks one’s heart” to see the U.S. walk away from the Paris accord, said Merkel, a former environment minister who hosted climate talks in Berlin in the early stages of her political career. “I actually spent my entire political life with this climate deal.”

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