EU secures important outcomes at G20 Summit, Hangzhou, China

The European Union has secured important outcomes at the G20 Leaders’ Summit which took place on 4-5 September in Hangzhou, China. European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker arrived at the summit calling for firm global action on over-capacity in the steel industry, fair taxation and the global refugee crisis. Published today, the G20 Leaders’ Communiqué sets out immediate action in all three areas. On steel, the G20 has agreed to launch a “Global Forum on steel excess capacity, to be facilitated by the OECD”. On taxation, the G20 has committed to work for a “fair and modern international tax system”, in particular by combatting tax avoidance. To ensure that multinationals pay their fair share of tax in the countries where they make their profits, G20 countries will implement a package of measures on Base Erosion and Profits Shifting. To ensure greater tax transparency, the Leader’s Communiqué calls on all countries to “commit without delay to implementing the standard of automatic exchange of information by 2018”. It also endorses the OECD proposals on the “criteria to identify non-cooperative jurisdictions with respect to tax transparency”. By June 2017 the OECD will report back to Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors on progress towards tax transparency. On the refugee crisis, the G20 calls for a global concerted effort to address both the consequences and root causes of the crisis, and in particular urges greater humanitarian assistance for refugees and refugee resettlement. In the margins of the summit, President Juncker held a bilateral meeting with the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, to discuss the new EU-Canada free-trade deal, CETA, which President Juncker described as the “best and most progressive” the EU had ever negotiated.