World Economy

G6+1: Allies’ Frustration With Trump Mounts

G6+1: Allies’ Frustration With Trump MountsG6+1: Allies’ Frustration With Trump Mounts

At last year’s G7 summit in Italy, leaders of the world’s leading economies were still sizing up Donald Trump. A year on, those same world leaders gathering in Canada will have got the measure of the US president. And they will be in no doubt: Trump is trouble.

He is trouble for their economies, politically toxic in their respective countries, and takes up an inordinate amount of their valuable time and energy, CNN reported.

For beauty and tranquility, the setting of this year’s G7, the Manoir Richelieu hotel in the spectacular Charlevoix region of Quebec, rivals that of last year’s location, the old Sicilian coastal town of Taormina, Italy.

But with the arrival of leaders from China, France, Germany, the UK, Italy and Japan, the Quebecois calm may well be about to be shattered. Tensions have been mounting ahead of what could be a watershed summit that comes to define a new relationship between America and the other big trading nations.

Relations are tense after Trump put new tariffs on imported steel and aluminum from the European Union, Mexico and Canada. Those nations are threatening new tariffs of their own on US goods. Trump tweeted Friday morning: “Looking forward to straightening out unfair trade deals with the G-7 countries. If it doesn’t happen, we come out even better!”

The host prime minister, Canada’s Justin Trudeau, is incensed by Trump’s decision to impose trade tariffs on the grounds of “national security”.

China fears that, whatever Trump’s negotiators say, the president may yet choose to spark a trade war with Beijing.

EU leaders are not only seething about the Trump tariffs, but are also smarting about his decision to pull out of the Iran deal, which could result in European businesses being hit with secondary sanctions.

As for Japan, go ask Prime Minister Shinzo Abe what he thinks about the impending summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. He’s likely to make his displeasure clear again to Trump in person on the eve of the G7 as well as at the summit proper.

French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire described the preparatory summit of finance ministers as “more of a G6+1, with the USA alone against everyone”.

No one thinks Quebec will be any different.

On the eve of the summit, Trump said little about his goals, but had messages for two of the leaders he plans to meet with. He tweeted Trudeau “is being so indignant” and slammed both Trudeau and French President Emmanuel Macron for their tariffs on the US.

Macron and Trudeau said they would not back down to Trump who says his administration’s recently imposed tariffs will help keep the US safe.

“It is laughable”, Trudeau said, “to say that Canada, France represent a threat to America’s national security.”

The G7 summit typically concludes with all seven leaders signing a joint communiqué but there’s a chance that won’t happen. Macron tweeted the other six leaders wouldn’t mind signing one without the US.

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