Post G7 bickering

Reuters: U.S.-Canada spat escalates, Europeans criticize Trump’s G7 move

The United States and Canada swung sharply toward a diplomatic and trade crisis on Sunday as top White House advisers lashed out at Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a day after U.S. President Trump called him “very dishonest and weak.”

The spat drew in Germany and France, who sharply criticized Trump’s decision to abruptly withdraw his support for a Group of Seven communique hammered out at a Canadian summit on Saturday, accusing him of destroying trust and acting inconsistently.

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland responded to the White House comments by saying that Canada will retaliate to U.S. tariffs in a measured and reciprocal way and that Canada will always be willing to talk.

“Canada does not conduct its diplomacy through ad hominem attacks … and we refrain particularly from ad hominem attacks when it comes from a close ally,” Freeland told reporters in Quebec City on Sunday.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow accused Trudeau of betraying Trump with “polarizing” statements on trade policy that risked making the U.S. leader look weak ahead of a historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Hours after Trump withdrew his support for the joint statement and attacked Trudeau, Kudlow and trade adviser Peter Navarro drove the message home on Sunday morning news shows in an extraordinary assault on a close U.S. ally and neighbor.

“(Trudeau) really kind of stabbed us in the back,” Kudlow, the director of the National Economic Council who had accompanied Trump to the summit of wealthy nations on Saturday, said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Trump seems to have stabbed Trudeau in his front.

Navarro told “Fox News Sunday”: “There is a special place in hell for any leader that engages in bad faith diplomacy with President Donald J. Trump and then tries to stab him in the back on the way out the door and that’s what bad-faith Justin Trudeau did with that stunt press conference, that’s what weak dishonest Justin Trudeau did.”

Some will see a lot of irony in “bad faith diplomacy with President Donald J. Trump”.

Trump seems to be increasing division between the US and the rest of the countries in G7, but prefers to deal with Russia.

Reuters: Russia’s Putin would be ready to host G7 in Moscow

Russia did not choose to leave the G7 and would be happy to host its members in Moscow, President Vladimir Putin said on Sunday when asked about U.S. President Donald Trump’s suggestion that Russia should have been at its latest meeting.

Interesting times.

G7 – trade issues remain

Trade issues remain after the latest G7 meeting in Canada.

Reuters: Trump demands end to ‘unfair’ trade after G7 summit

U.S. President Donald Trump told Group of Seven leaders that the United States wanted a quick end to trade practices that he says have led to an exodus of American companies and jobs to other countries.

This is someone who has been slapping tariffs on and threatening tariffs all over the place. And someone who pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership as soon as he became president.

Trump, who angered his G7 partners last week with tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, the European Union and Mexico as part of his “America First” agenda, vowed to hold firm until U.S. goods had “fair” access to markets.

“The United States has been taken advantage of for decades and decades,” Trump said at a press conference on the second day of a two-day summit in Canada.

He said he had suggested to the other G7 leaders that all trade barriers, including tariffs and subsidies, be eliminated.

So why doesn’t he lead by example? otherwise this looks like posturing bullshit.

Reuters: G7 leaders on track for joint communique: French official

The leaders of the Group of Seven nations are on track to agree a joint communique when their summit ends later on Saturday, a French presidency official said, a day after diplomats cited deep splits over the proposed text.

The official though said the document would make clear that on topics such as the environment, the United States did not share the point of view of the other six members.

In a bid to ease tensions over trade, in particular U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum that infuriated other G7 members, officials were working on language about the international rules-based system that would lead the way to reforming the World Trade Organization, the official said.

It looks like the communique will try to paper over obvious cracks.

Reuters: Merkel says differences on trade remain despite joint G7 communique

Leaders of the G7 countries will stress the importance of rules-based trade in a joint communique but there were still differences between Europe and the United States on the issue, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday.

“For us it was important that we have a commitment to a rule-based trade order, that we continue to fight against protectionism and that we want to reform the World Trade Organization,” Merkel told reporters after G7 talks in Quebec.

Merkel said there was a broad agreement among G7 leaders that tariffs and other trade barriers should be reduced.

“These are jointly shared principles, although the pitfalls lie in the detail,” she said.

The detail – al the exceptions to free trade?

Maybe some progress has been made at  G7 but it’s not apparent.

Trade confrontation looking likely at G7

The trade war escalation by Donald Trump may make for a testy G7 meeting in Canada.

Reuters: Trump sticks with hard line on trade as showdown looms at G7

U.S. President Donald Trump is not backing down from the tough line he has taken on trade, the White House’s top economic adviser said on Wednesday, setting the stage for a showdown with top allies at this week’s G7 summit in Canada.

The meeting on Friday and Saturday in Charlevoix, Quebec, will be the first chance G7 leaders have had to confront Trump in person since U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union were imposed last week.

That move unleashed fury in the Group of Seven industrialized nations and prompted quick retaliation from Canada and Mexico and a promise from the EU to do so as well, unnerving investors who fear a trade war that could derail the global economy.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the summit host, and British Prime Minister Theresa May, who will also attend, are among those to sharply criticize the U.S. tariffs as unjustified and punitive.

“There are disagreements. He’s sticking to his guns. And he’s going to talk to them,” Larry Kudlow, Trump’s top economic adviser, told reporters in Washington.

A French presidency official said that while G7 members would raise their unhappiness over the tariffs with Trump, they would not deliver an ultimatum that he drop them because the summit “isn’t the place where you negotiate things like that.”

The official, speaking to reporters after Macron met Trudeau for talks in Ottawa on Wednesday, said the six non-U.S. G7 nations were united on the main topics to be discussed. The G7 groups Canada, the United States, Japan, Britain, Italy, France and Germany. The EU also attends.

Trump will have to more than snipe from Twitter at the meeting. Fronting up on trade issues he has stirred up will be a test of his presidential and negotiating skills. It will be somewhat more challenging than social media posturing.

Trump at odds with G7 on climate

President Donald Trump has declined to join the rest of the G7 countries reaffirming their commitment to cut back on greenhouse gases. He has said he will make a decision next week.

Trump said he wouldn’t support anything that pout US jobs at risk, but it could lead to other risks.

Fox News: Trump declines to join world leaders at G7 in affirming Paris climate accord

President Trump on Saturday at the G-7 Summit in Italy declined to join six other leading nations in their pledge to uphold the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

The other six members of the G- 7 — Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom — reaffirmed their commitment to the agreement, signed by former President Barack Obama.

The group also said the U.S. is “not in a position to join consensus” on climate change.

Trump should have known this would come up at G7 so should have been prepared to do something other than procrastinate.

UK & Europe

Topics about the UK, EU and Europe.

UK-EU


BBC: No G7 deal on Russia sanctions over Syria

The UK proposal fails to win support, with the US secretary of state now in Moscow for talks.

BBC: Syria: Boris Johnson denies defeat over sanctions call

The UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has denied he suffered a “defeat” after the G7 group of nations rejected his proposal for sanctions against Russia.

The two-day meeting of foreign ministers was aimed at hammering out a unified approach to Syria before the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson went to Moscow.

The plan was put forward at the G7 summit in Italy in the wake of a deadly chemical attack the countries say was carried out by Moscow’s ally, Syria.

Italy’s foreign minister said the group did not want to back Russia into a corner and preferred dialogue.

The Lib Dem leader Tim Farron called it a “failure of British diplomacy”.

Mr Johnson denied he had suffered a defeat, saying there was support for sanctions if further evidence of the chemical attack were gathered.

One thing that did appear to unite the group was the future of Mr Assad.

Mr Tillerson summed it up, saying: “It is clear to all of us that the reign of the Assad family is coming to an end.”