(Bloomberg) — Chile canceled the APEC summit that was scheduled to be held in Santiago next month after a wave of protests and riots stretched security forces to the limit.
Neither will the government host the United Nations climate change conference, the COP25, set for December, President Sebastian Pinera said. Chile’s peso extended losses after the announcement, dropping 1.6% to 738.75 against the dollar on the day. The currency is now at its lowest since 2003. The country’s benchmark stock index also extended declines.
“We understand perfectly the importance of APEC and COP for Chile and the world, but we have based our decision on common sense,” Pinera said from the presidential palace. “A president needs to put its people above everything else.”
U.S. President Donald Trump had said he would sign a preliminary trade accord with China’s Xi Jinping at the Nov. 16-17 summit. Chile’s decision to cancel the meeting highlights the depth of trouble facing the Latin American nation that has seen the worst unrest in a generation. Until just two days ago, the government had insisted it would go ahead with the summit.
Pinera said the government had spoken to other presidents to warn them of the cancellation.
Trump had said he expected to sign “phase one” of a trade deal with China when he met with his counterpart in Santiago. That partial deal, which Trump announced the contours of Oct. 11, had calmed fears in financial markets of a continuing escalation in the trade war that has cast a shadow over the global economy for the past 18 months.How and when the leaders of the world’s two largest economies will meet to resolve their trade differences is therefore the most consequential question thrown up by the Chilean decision to cancel the Apec summit.
(Updates with comment from Pinera)
–With assistance from Shawn Donnan.
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Daniel Cancel at [email protected], James Attwood, Philip Sanders
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