PM to press case for free trade at G20 meeting in Germany

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull can escape the internal bickering in his own party when he flies to Germany this week to attend the G20 Leaders meeting.


But the reprieve from hostilities could be brief with the debate in Hamburg expected to be fiery as some European leaders clash with US President Donald Trump.

Host German Chancellor Angela Merkel will argue for the international Paris Agreement on climate change to continue – a pact President Trump has already pulled out of.

She will also fight against calls for protectionism, in opposition to the Trump administration’s “America First” stance.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, who is already in Germany, said Australia remains committed to the Paris Agreement.

“We will continue to promote the case for more freer and open trade as an engine for prosperity and lifting of living standards,” Senator Cormann told Sky News.

“The world is going to be a better place if all of us engage in as much free and open trade as possible.”

Senator Cormann represented Australia at the funeral of former German chancellor Helmut Kohl on Saturday, the architect of German unification and a driving force within the European Union.

He described Mr Kohl as a political “giant” and the day was very much a reflection of the significant and historical contribution he made to Gemany, Europe and to the world.

He said while Europe does face its challenges with Brexit, he said there is a lot of optimism and the French-German axis is stronger than ever following the election French President Emmanuel Macron.