The failure of G7 Summit

The summit of the Group of Seven (G7), the world’s richest countries, which took place in Quebec City, Canada had to end in an unusual manner due to Donald Trump’s obstinacy and this has filled the allies with indignation. 

The main characteristic of G7 summit is the joint statement which describes the policy shifts to be generally adopted on economic issues. Contrary to the norm, what was issued was a joint statement of six countries which excluded America.  It sharply criticizes America’s international relations and economic policies.  It was not bonhomie but differences between America and alliance nations that were constantly echoed before and after summit. Besides trade matters, on several other issues including climate change, relations with Iran, Israel-Palestine relations and Russia’s re-entry, disagreements were laid bare.  Trump left prematurely even before the summit ended, and without showing keenness on any bilateral talks or consensus efforts and also ordered the officials not to sign the joint statement. It was the understanding that there would be talks as well as a solution for the slapping of tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from European Union (EU) and Canada that was shattered through Trump’s arrogant walk out. The EU has now realized that America, led by Trump who is unable to talk with other political leaders in a language of mutual respect, cannot be trusted again. Trump’s remarks on Twitter about Canada and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hinting at the ‘poverty’ in the conduct of the summit, was utterly humiliating.

The summit underlines the straining international ties between the US and EU. Although German Chancellor Angela Merkel has come forward with mediation efforts, she has also opined that it was better to make public the differences with America. French president Emmanuel Macron is of the view that the six nations should go ahead by themselves and adopt policies and strategies in emergency situations. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has already been upset over Trump’s frequent insults on Canada. He has also presented a stern suggestion for Europe to impose sanctions on America. Britain which lost its economic and political power through Brexit,  is currently in a situation where it can neither embrace nor reject America. In short, EU believes that the latest international approaches and internal-business policies of America undermine Europe both politically and economically. The economic sanctions announced by the US on Russia pose a threat to the latter's gas pipeline to Europe and may lead to energy crisis for them. Similarly, if the sanctions on Iran are resumed, then it is Eruope's non-oilbusiness worth 130 billion that will be affected.  What was in display at the G7 summit was Europe's conviction that if Europe - already with weaker power equations post-Brexit - backs Trump’s autocratic decisions, it would be weakened economically too.   Such concern over Europe turning politically and economically weak was also evident in the detailed statement by EU President Donald Tusk.

Finance Minister of France Bruno Le Maire has expressed the view that new alliances should be formed as EU had to pay an unnecessary price forthe destabilizing of international agreements and ties with other countries.  He attributed this to Trump’s approaches filled with contradictions and ironies. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov response was that Trump’s call to have Russia back in G7 during the summit was not in Russia's interest.   He also added that Russia was focused on other forums and alliances than G7. Trump’s ignorance in world matters, his economic imprudence and inherent pride have ended in turning the US allies as well as opponents against America. Criticism is already strengthening that Trump who caused a trade loss of 800 billion dollars in America’s domestic market, has been driving the world to recession by trivializing the G7 alliance and playing new sanction cards.  That is why democratic leader Chuck Schumer said that America needed a president who knows to how to deal with opponents and allies with discretion.

 

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