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[IWS] CRS: THE G-20 AND INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC COOPERATION: BACKGROUND AND IMPLICATIONS FOR CONGRESS [5 November 2014]

IWS Documented News Service

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Congressional Research Service (CRS)

 

The G-20 and International Economic Cooperation: Background and Implications for Congress

Rebecca M. Nelson,  Analyst in International Trade and Finance

November 5, 2014

http://fas.org/sgp/crs/row/R40977.pdf

[full-text, 17 pages]

 

Summary

The Group of Twenty (G-20) is a forum for advancing international cooperation and coordination

among 20 major advanced and emerging-market economies. The G-20 includes Argentina,

Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico,

Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the United States,

as well as the European Union (EU).

 

Originally established in 1999, the G-20 rose to prominence during the global financial crisis of

2008-2009 and is now the premier forum for international economic cooperation. Since the crisis,

the G-20 leaders typically meet annually (at “summits”). Meetings among lower-level officials,

including finance ministers and central bank governors, are scheduled throughout the year. G-20

meetings primarily focus on international economic and financial issues, although related topics

are also discussed, including development, food security, and the environment, among others.

 

The G-20 in 2014

 

Australia holds the rotating presidency of the G-20 in 2014 and is hosting the 2014 leaders’

summit on November 15 and 16 in Brisbane, Australia. Australia is focusing the agenda on global

economic growth. In February 2014, the G-20 finance ministers and central bank governors

pledged to develop policies that would boost the G-20’s collective GDP by more than two

percentage points over the coming five years. The summit is expected to stress strategies to boost

growth and reach the goal, including increasing investment in infrastructure; reducing barriers to

trade; promoting competition; and creating jobs. The G-20 summit will also continue previous

work in a number of issue areas, including financial regulatory reforms; reforming the

international tax system; increasing the representation of emerging markets at global institutions;

building energy market resilience; and strengthening the global trading system.

 

One of the most controversial issues in the lead-up to the summit has been the question of

Russia’s participation. In response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea, Russia was effectively

banned from participating in the G-8, a small forum for advanced economies. Although there was

some debate about banning Russia from the G-20 summit, Russia is expected to attend and

participate. Analysts are wondering how Russia’s attendance will shape the discussions. Some

analysts also believe that Russia’s participation will set a precedent that members are not

excluded from G-20 discussions.

 

Effectiveness of the G-20

 

Some analysts say that while the G-20 was instrumental in coordinating the response to the global

financial crisis of 2008-2009, its effectiveness has diminished as the urgency of the crisis has

waned. They argue that the G-20 has failed to provide adequate international leadership in key

policy areas, such as responding to the Eurozone crisis or forging a conclusion to the World Trade

Organization (WTO) Doha Round of trade negotiations. They also maintain that the G-20 as a

group is too heterogeneous and its agenda is too ambitious. Others argue that the G-20 is a critical

forum for discussing major policy initiatives across major countries and encouraging greater

cooperation, even if agreement on policies is not always reached. They also argue that it serves as

a useful steering committee the international economy and that having the G-20 policy-making

infrastructure in place is important for timely international responses to future crises.

 

Contents

Introduction ...................................................................................................................................... 1

The Rise of the G-20 as the Premier Forum for International Economic Cooperation ................... 1

Motivations for Economic Cooperation .................................................................................... 1

1970s–1990s: Advanced Economies Dominate Financial Discussions ..................................... 2

1990s–2008: Emerging Economies Gain Greater Influence ..................................................... 2

2008–Present: Emerging Economies Get a Seat at the Table .................................................... 3

How the G-20 Operates ................................................................................................................... 5

Frequency of Meetings .............................................................................................................. 5

U.S. Representation ................................................................................................................... 5

Location of Meetings and Attendees ......................................................................................... 5

Agreements ................................................................................................................................ 6

Overview of the G-20 Summits ....................................................................................................... 7

Highlights from Previous Summits ........................................................................................... 7

Australian Presidency in 2014 ................................................................................................... 9

Debating the G-20’s Effectiveness ................................................................................................. 11

Scenario 1: Effective ............................................................................................................... 11

Scenario 2: Ineffective ............................................................................................................. 11

Scenario 3: Effective in Some Instances, but Not Others ........................................................ 12

 

Figures

Figure 1. Expansion of the G-7 to the G-20..................................................................................... 4

 

Tables

Table 1. Chairs of the G-20 .............................................................................................................. 6

Table 2. G-20 Summits: Context and Major Highlights .................................................................. 7

Table A-1. World’s Largest Countries and Entities ........................................................................ 14

 

Appendixes

Appendix. World’s Largest Countries and Entities ........................................................................ 14

 

Contacts

Author Contact Information........................................................................................................... 14

Acknowledgments ......................................................................................................................... 14

 

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This information is provided to subscribers, friends, faculty, students and alumni of the School of Industrial & Labor Relations (ILR). It is a service of the Institute for Workplace Studies (IWS) in New York City. Stuart Basefsky is responsible for the selection of the contents which is intended to keep researchers, companies, workers, and governments aware of the latest information related to ILR disciplines as it becomes available for the purposes of research, understanding and debate. The content does not reflect the opinions or positions of Cornell University, the School of Industrial & Labor Relations, or that of Mr. Basefsky and should not be construed as such. The service is unique in that it provides the original source documentation, via links, behind the news and research of the day. Use of the information provided is unrestricted. However, it is requested that users acknowledge that the information was found via the IWS Documented News Service.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




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