International summit stirs up tensions


On November 30, the world’s leaders met in Buenos Aires, Argentina for the annual Group of Twenty (G20) summit. The summit addressed many prominent economic issues, but coverage was focused on the leaders’ reactions to the Saudi Arabian Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman.

Saudi Arabia made headlines in October after American journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered in Turkey’s Saudi Arabian consulate. President Donald Trump announced shortly before the summit he would not have a formal meeting with the Crown Prince, indicating hostility between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. French President Emmanuel Macron did meet with the Crown Prince, but made a point to express his displeasure with bin Salman’s lack of transparency in the Khashoggi murder and attacks on Yemen.

One of the more positive highlights from the G20 summit was the official signing of the new trade agreement between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. The deal delivers on one of President Trump’s campaign promises to replace the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The new deal, called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), is intended to help keep companies, particularly in the automobile industry, within U.S. borders to boost domestic production.

At the signing of the USMCA, President Trump said he “[looks] forward to working with members of Congress” on the new trade agreement. He explained, “it’s been so well reviewed I don’t expect to have much of a problem.” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who was initially skeptical of the deal, said at the summit, “the new North American Free Trade Agreement maintains stability for Canada’s entire economy.”

Though the new trade agreement solidified America’s strong relationship with Mexico and Canada, President Trump and the leaders of the G20 summit will have to decide what course of action should be taken against Saudi Arabia.