Dec. 1 (UPI) -- World leaders and their staffs at the G20 Summit agonized over a statement that was completed Saturday morning after middle-of-the-night negotiations.
The agreement reaffirmed multilateral trade but agreed with the Trump administration that the World Trade organization needs reform. Even with the uneasy agreement struck by the countries Saturday, much of that could be overshadowed if a Saturday evening meeting in Argentina with President Donald Trump and Chinese president Xi Jinping goes awry.
The leaders of the world's two largest economies have been bogged down in a trade war this year with Trump threatening to increase tariffs on some $200 billion in Chinese goods coming into the U.S. from 10 percent to 25 percent.
The Saturday night meeting could result in the slowing, stopping or accelerating of those tariffs.
"Where we are right now is in a place of considerable uncertainty," Craig Allen, president of the US-China Business Council, told CNN. "Clearly, there's a lot of jockeying going on within the administration with pretty sharp contrasts between the positions that people are taking. That's what makes this so unpredictable. We don't know where it will end up."
John Bolton, Trump's national security adviser, led the call against multilateralism, the role of the International Monetary Fund as a global safety net and wealthy countries' obligation to refugees and migration, The Guardian reported.
The eight-page, 31-point document included compromise language in hopes to end fears Trump could reject the statement.
The compromise language kept the G20's basic principles on global trade while acknowledging of fundamental problems in the international trading system and a commitment to address them especially in how the World Trade Organization sets rules for trade and settles disputes.
"We recognize the contribution that the multilateral trading system has made to that end," the document said. "The system is currently falling short of its objectives and there is room for improvement. We, therefore, support the necessary reform of the WTO to improve its functioning. We will review progress at our next summit."
The U.S. also reaffirmed in the document its decision to withdraw for the Paris Climate Change accords, stating that it was committed to "economic growth and energy access and security, utilizing all energy sources and technologies while protecting the environment."
Trump had planned on a one-on-one meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but canceled it shortly before the conference started, blaming it on Russia's action last weekend in seizing three Ukrainian naval ships in the Kerch Strait and threatening to put their sailors on trial.
He did sign a new trade deal with the Canada and Mexico on Friday, which would replace the Bill Clinton-era North American Free Trade Agreement if legislative bodies in the three nations also approve the agreement.