G-7: President Trump attacks EU and Canada on trade before leaving for Summit

The “America First” policies of US have brought the world nations on the brisk of a trade war and global diplomatic fissures. This has left the G-7 nations which have gathered in Canada much divided than at any time seen in the history of 42 years of the Group before.

Trump administration had recently imposed heavy import tariffs on steel and aluminium on many nations which also included key allies like Japan, Canada and EU. In addition, Trump administration has ripped the world diplomatic stability by pulling out from the key environmental pact and the highly strategic JCPOA which was signed by the world nations with Iran to prevent the latter from furthering the nuclear enrichment of uranium to weapons-grade in exchange for relaxation on economic tariffs which had severely crippled the Iranian economy. Moreover, it also has stated its intent to impose similar tariffs on car imports under the guise of national security laws. Trump administration has also categorically told China to work on cutting its huge trade surplus with the US and has directly threatened Beijing of increased trade tariffs if latter does not put an end to stealing of intellectual property of American firms.

French President Emmanuel Macron has urged the G-7 nations namely Britain, Germany, Canada, Italy and Japan to maintain warmth and politeness while dealing with President Trump who is expecting a backlash from these nations over the recent overtures of US. Macron, however, also warned that “no leader is forever” and stated that Europe will not go on meekly submitting to US President. French President told the reporters that the G-7 group won’t mind becoming G-6 as the six will symbolise values and economic market which is a real force in the international market. The French President thus reiterated the fact that the US is not the only superpower in the world and thus asked other nations to remain together.

It is expected that Italy will remain a soft voice and will want to carve out more space for a dialogue with the US especially as the new PM  Guiseppe Conte who is a political amateur will focus on getting the gist of the dynamics of the working of the Group. Likewise, Japanese leader Shinzo Abe will not resort to a much confrontational approach.

Europe will lose far more than the US if latter imposed tariffs on car imports. European Central Bank has not completely recovered from the 2008-09 financial crisis as it still operates under crisis-era measures while the US Fed is on the verge of another hike in interest rate. Europe is also struggling with many economic and political challenges on the domestic front which will also have an effect on the discussion in the summit.

The Summit is thus highly significant as President Trump will have to face the key allies whose views he does not share on many international issues.



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