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(L-R) Canada’s Trudeau, Germany’s Merkel, Trump of the US, Italy’s Gentiloni, France’s Macron, Japan’s Abe and Britain’s May attend the G7 Summit in Sicily, Italy, on May 26.
(L-R) Canada’s Trudeau, Germany’s Merkel, Trump of the US, Italy’s Gentiloni, France’s Macron, Japan’s Abe and Britain’s May attend the G7 Summit in Sicily, Italy, on May 26.

Trump Plays Own Tune at G7

After starting his first presidential trip abroad wreathed in smiles, Donald Trump is ending it with rebukes, upbraiding America’s European partners over military spending, trade and global warming
The G7 is unlikely to reprise its oft-used terminology against protectionism, after Trump in Brussels this week reportedly described the Germans as “bad, very bad” in their trade practices

Trump Plays Own Tune at G7

G7 nations risk unprecedented deadlock on Saturday after US President Donald Trump ditched the charm for snarls, resisting calls for concerted action on hot-button issues such as climate change.
An enduring motif of the G7, which represents the lion’s share of global economic output, has been to champion free trade, AFP reported.
At last year’s summit in Japan, it issued a lengthy communiqué in support of resisting protectionism, as well as helping refugees and fighting climate change.
But that was then, when Barack Obama still occupied the White House. Today, his successor is defiant about stepping out of the G7 line.
“His basis for decision ultimately will be what’s best for the United States,” top economic advisor Gary Cohn said at the annual talks in Sicily.
Cohn was referring to whether Trump will execute his threat to walk away from the Paris accord on combating climate change.
But his language also summarizes the “America First” platform that elevated the property tycoon to victory in last year’s presidential election.

  Smoking Volcano
That means the G7 is unlikely also to reprise its oft-used terminology against protectionism, after Trump in Brussels this week reportedly described the Germans as “bad, very bad” in their trade practices.
Also, G7 looks set to fall short of last year’s declaration on refugees and migration—the sort of language that is anathema to a White House that wants to impose a ban on travelers from six Muslim-majority countries.
It is a measure of the gulf that this year’s Italian hosts say they expect the final statement to come in at just six pages when it is released on Saturday afternoon--down from 32 pages last year.
The summit did find common ground on Friday in endorsing a British call urging Internet service providers and social media companies to crack down on content published by militants online, after 22 people were killed in a Manchester concert bombing in northwest England this week.
The G7, urged on by Japan, will also adopt common language against North Korea after a series of missile tests by the nuclear-armed nation.
Trump, however, seems bent on singing from a different song sheet, leaving the G7 bereft of a concerted voice as Russia and China are loudly heard offstage.

  Back Home
Down to the final day of his lengthy first international trip, President Donald Trump will lift off for Washington having rattled some allies and reassured others, returning to a White House that sits under a cloud of scandal.
After the pomp of presidential travel overseas, Trump will return to Washington to find the same problems that have dogged him.
As a newly appointed special counsel is beginning his investigation into links between the Trump campaign and Russian officials, Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and close adviser, has become a focus of the probe, according to The Washington Post. His lawyer said Kushner will cooperate with investigators.
James Comey, the former FBI director leading the Russian probe until Trump abruptly fired him, is still expected to testify before Congress about the memos he kept on conversations with the president that involved the investigation.
Furthermore, the search for a new FBI director continues.
And Trump’s policy agenda has run into problems. The GOP healthcare bill that passed the House faces uncertain prospects in the Senate, after a Congressional Budget Office analysis that it would leave 23 million more Americans uninsured by 2026.
The president’s budget was widely criticized for deep cuts to safety net programs. And some are starting to question the chances of tax reform.

 

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