G20 Summit: A New Policy Configuration May Emerge from the Sidelines

As it now looks, the G20 summit which is to begin tomorrow in Hamburg, Germany, will likely not adhere to the agenda the host country has planned to impose. The first bilateral face to face meeting between Russian President Putin and U.S. President Trump could turn out to be the defining factor of global strategic picture, especially if the two heads of state establish good relations, in spite of the escalation of “Russiagate” in the United States.

The other most decisive meeting will bring together Trump and Chinese President Xi, both of whom are committed to strengthening cooperation, while the BRICS heads of state and government (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) also plan an informal meeting to further their projects. Trump had received Indian PM Modi in Washington on June 26, for a productive meeting which both sides said exceeded all expectations. During the summit itself, President Xi is expected to promote the win-win, inclusive program which dominated last year’s G20 meeting in Hangzhou, China.

The greatest policy disagreements are likely to be between Angela Merkel and Donald Trump, as Helga Zepp-LaRouche pointed out in an article written July 1. The German Chancellor, in her government statement to the Bundestag on June 29, made a point of stressing her disapproval of Trump’s policy, and positioned herself as the leader of the “free West” against the other G20 members.

Mrs. Merkel was intent on putting “free trade” and “climate change” in the center of the G20 deliberations, although she apparently shifted the emphasis to “fair trade” a few weeks earlier, because of the ravages of free trade in Africa.

One theme which everyone has avoided bringing up is the implosion of the entire transatlantic financial system, which could occur any time.

There is only one way that Chancellor Merkel could make a success of the upcoming G20 summit, Helga Zepp-LaRouche suggested, and that would be to put on the agenda the introduction of a Glass-Steagall type of bank separation, coupled with a new credit system to ensure investments in the real economy. Trump has stated his intention to return the United States to the original American system of economy of Hamilton, Clay, Carey and Lincoln, and for Germany, that would imply returning to the policy that ensured the famous German economic miracle.

With a transatlantic financial system freed from excessive speculation, Europe and the United States would be able to cooperate with the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank, the BRICS New Development Bank and the financial institutions of the Belt and Road Initiative.