The G7 meeting is promising to be more pleading and lecturing for Donald Trump to abandon America First.
Emmanuel Macron started a Twitter fight about multi-national trade agreements ahead of the G7 meeting. The most interesting thing here is that CNN doesn’t try to deny Donald Trump’s claim that France has tarriffs and other trade barriers keeping out U.S. products. So this was never about a “free trade agreement”! It was about a multi-national agreement about what tariffs and other trade barriers would exist.
CNN says Trump doesn’t want to go. That’s probably a baseless rumor, but I wouldn’t blame him. It’s not like all these leaders are going to negotiate a new deal at the meeting. It’s a self-congratulatory photo-op for the other six.
Trump responded by addressing Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, whose country is hosting the G7.
“Please tell Prime Minister Trudeau and President Macron that they are charging the U.S. massive tariffs and create non-monetary barriers. The EU trade surplus with the U.S. is $151 Billion, and Canada keeps our farmers and others out. Look forward to seeing them tomorrow,” he tweeted.
The President’s focus over the past weeks has been his June 12 summit with North Korean despot Kim Jong Un in Singapore and not the G7 meetings held with top US allies in a remote part of Quebec. Trump has even questioned whether his presence is absolutely required in Canada.
It is, top advisers have responded, warning an absence at the premier meeting of top world leaders would amount to a retreat amid fierce clashes over economic and other issues. Trump has vented back that the meetings are unlikely to produce anything worthwhile, and that the trek to rural Quebec is a waste of time.
A few paragraphs later CNN finally tells us why the President might not want to attend the G7 meeting—because at the last one the others tried to bully him into doing what they wanted.
Leaders are assembling at a fractured moment for US alliances after Trump slapped tariffs on steel and aluminum. His decisions to withdraw from the Paris climate accord and the Iran nuclear deal both came in the year since the last G7 meeting, held on a rocky cliffside in Sicily.
At that session, Trump felt cornered by leaders such as Macron, Trudeau and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who tried to convey the importance of presenting a united front amid destabilizing threats like terrorism and climate change. Trump chafed at what he viewed as a lecture, according to aides, and left determined to plot his own path forward.
That’s left Trump largely isolated among the other G7 nations, who have banded together in outrage.
Fine! Let them band together without Trump!
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