BERLIN (AP) — European leaders said Thursday they are ready to defend the Paris climate accord and free trade when they face President Donald Trump at the Group of 20 summit. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Europe was “more determined than ever” to see the climate deal succeed.
The Trump administration’s “America First” approach to trade has caused widespread concern internationally, as has its decision to pull out of the Paris accord. Trump announced the withdrawal shortly after returning from last month’s Group of 7 summit in Italy.
Merkel told the German parliament that “we cannot expect easy talks in Hamburg” on climate issues when leaders of the G-20 global economic powers meet in the city July 7-8.
“The disagreement is obvious, and it would be dishonest to gloss over it,” she said. “I won’t do that, in any case.”
Still, meeting later Thursday with European participants in the G-20, she sought to downplay prospects of an outright clash with Trump. She and French President Emmanuel Macron said there is agreement on issues such as fighting terrorism and they will seek joint solutions.
Trump announced June 1 he was pulling the U.S. from the Paris deal. The U.S. could try to rejoin the agreement under more favorable terms or work to establish “an entirely new transaction,” Trump said.
After meeting the leaders of Britain, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Norway and the European Union in Berlin, Merkel said they were “united” behind the climate accord.
Macron underlined the Europeans’ “very strong commitment” to the Paris deal. He…
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