Tomorrow’s G7, or rather G6+1 meeting, is shaping up to be one for the ages.
As we reported previously, chancellor Merkel already was setting the ground for the Toronto showdown among the world’s top political leaders, vowing to challenge Donald Trump on virtually every issue, from trade to climate, and warning that the lack of room for compromise means leaders may fail to agree on a final statement, an unprecedented event at a summit of the world’s 7 most advanced nations.
Then, earlier today, in comments made alongside Canada PM Justin Trudeau in Ottawa, French President Emmanuel Macron said that no head of state is “eternal” and that he stands ready to work with the six other Group of Seven members if U.S. wants to stand alone.
“You say President Trump doesn’t care. Maybe. But none of us are eternal and our countries, the commitments taken, go beyond us. None of us who have been elected by the people can say ‘all prior commitments disappear.’ It’s just not true, there is a continuity in state affairs at the heart of international laws. Sometimes we’ve inherited some commitments that weren’t core to our beliefs, but we stuck to them, because that is how it works for nations. And that will be the case for the United States – like for every great democracy”, Macron said quoted by Bloomberg.
The common theme: the rest of the world is desperate to show just how united it is again Trump, perhaps in hopes of subduing him and quashing his opposition.
Good luck with that.
Shortly after the constant barrage of anti-Trump rhetoric out of the G6, Trump on Thursday was quick to take even more jabs at Canada and France on the eve of the G-7 summit.
In a tweet, Trump accused the U.S. allies of levying “massive tariffs” and creating “non-monetary barriers.”
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.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 7, 2018
Trump’s comment was in response to French President Emmanuel Macron’s tweet in which he echoed Merkel’s threat to exclude U.S. from a joint statement issued every year at the G-7 summit.
“The American President may not mind being isolated, but neither do we mind signing a 6 country agreement if need be. Because these 6 countries represent values, they represent an economic market which has the weight of history behind it and which is now a true international force,” Macron tweeted.
Later on Thursday, Trump attacked Trudeau over Canada’s dairy industry, claiming that Canada is “killing” U.S. agriculture.
Prime Minister Trudeau is being so indignant, bringing up the relationship that the U.S. and Canada had over the many years and all sorts of other things…but he doesn’t bring up the fact that they charge us up to 300% on dairy — hurting our Farmers, killing our Agriculture!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 7, 2018
As CNBC notes, Canada bought 31% of U.S. milk exports and 5.3% of its cheese exports in 2016, according to data from MIT’s Observatory of Economic Complexity.
Trump then pivoted back the EU, asking its progressive, liberal leaders “Why isn’t the European Union and Canada informing the public that for years they have used massive Trade Tariffs and non-monetary Trade Barriers against the U.S. Totally unfair to our farmers, workers & companies. Take down your tariffs & barriers or we will more than match you!”
Why isn’t the European Union and Canada informing the public that for years they have used massive Trade Tariffs and non-monetary Trade Barriers against the U.S. Totally unfair to our farmers, workers & companies. Take down your tariffs & barriers or we will more than match you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 8, 2018
Tensions between the U.S. and many of its allies were already high after the Trump administration decided late last month to impose tariffs on imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union, citing national security concerns. Trudeau responded that it’s offensive for the Trump administration to claim that Canada poses a security threat to the United States, given the “the thousands of Canadians who have fought and died alongside their American brothers in arms.”
Later it emerged that in a phone conversation, Trump blamed Canada for burning down the White House in 1812, an escalation which Larry Kudlow said was nothing more than a “family quarrel.”
Over the weekend, in the G7 meeting for finance ministers, the world’s top economic leaders asked Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to relay their “unanimous concern and disappointment” over the tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.
It appears the relaying had no impact, and what’s more there is no desire on either side to spend more time in Toronto than is absolutely required. According to Bloomberg’s Jennifer Epstein, Trump is getting to the G-7 summit late (11:15 tomorrow morning, while other leaders are already in Charlevoix) and leaving early (roughly 23 hours after his arrival, ahead of an afternoon of meetings).
Trump is getting to the G-7 summit late (11:15 tomorrow morning, while other leaders are already in Charlevoix) and leaving early (roughly 23 hours after his arrival, ahead of an afternoon of meetings).
— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) June 8, 2018
Commenting on what to expect tomorrow, Eurasia’s Ian Bremmer said “the meeting this week will be by far the most dysfunctional G-7. The old order is over. What we are fighting over now, as the new order emerges, is whether the U.S. wants to have the most important seat at the table or not. Right now the answer is no.”
Perhaps: for the full answer tune in tomorrow for what promises to be the most exciting G6+1 meeting ever.