Trump, Merkel hold phone discussion on climate change, trade ahead of G20

Source: Xinhua| 2017-07-04 13:58:56|Editor: MJ
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WASHINGTON, July 4 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday had a phone discussion with German Chancellor Angela Merkel before the upcoming G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, the White House said.

"In an extensive discussion, the leaders addressed climate issues, the Women's Entrepreneurship Financing Initiative, and trade, including global steel overcapacity," the White House said in a statement.

Although the White House statement did not mention it, a German government spokesperson was reported to say Monday morning that a meeting between Merkel and Trump would "most likely take place early on Thursday evening" before the July 7-8 G20 summit.

The phone conversation between the two leaders came days after Merkel predicted "very difficult" talks over climate change and trade in the upcoming G20 summit.

"Whoever believes the problems of this world can be solved by isolationism and protectionism is making a tremendous error," said Merkel in an address before German parliament on Thursday.

Being one of the most vocal critics of Trump's decision to pull the United States out of the landmark Paris Agreement, Merkel also called the climate treaty "irreversible" and "not negotiable."

"We will and must take on this existential challenge," she said, "and we cannot and will not wait until every last person in the world can be convinced of climate change by scientific evidence."