G20 leaders ended the summit in Japan pledging to realize a free and fair trade and investment environment. But they stopped short of denouncing protectionism. Though, the group still agreed on continuing with WTO reform while acknowledging the complementary roles of bilateral and free trade agreements.
In the joint communique, the group said “we strive to realize a free, fair, non-discriminatory, transparent, predictable and stable trade and investment environment, and to keep our markets open”.
And they “reaffirm our support for the necessary reform of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to improve its functions”. Actions are needed on the “functioning of the dispute settlement system”.
Also, “we recognize the complementary roles of bilateral and regional free trade agreements that are WTO-consistent. We will work to ensure a level playing field to foster an enabling business environment.”