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WorldWorld Leaders’ G7 Expectations: A Nice Chat, Some Good Wine, No Unity With Trump

02:20  24 august  2019
02:20  24 august  2019 Source:   nytimes.com

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Whatever hopes that other leaders had of pacifying Mr. Trump and papering over their widening differences on trade, security and the world order vanished in a flurry of harsh recriminations. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada rebuffed Mr. Trump ’s positions in public comments, prompting Mr

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World Leaders’ G7 Expectations: A Nice Chat, Some Good Wine, No Unity With Trump© Doug Mills/The New York Times President Trump boarding Air Force One this week. Mr. Trump will travel to Biarritz, France, for the Group of 7 meeting this weekend.

Correction: August 23, 2019

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction: An earlier version of this article misstated the month NATO allies met in Brussels. It was July 2018, not last August.

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PARIS—The world leaders who met with Donald Trump on his Grand Tour of the Middle East and Europe over the last nine days may not have read Judah Grunstein’s How else to explain Trump ’s impression, apparently sincere, that the journey was a triumph? “Trip has been very successful.

And as the NATO allies gathered last summer in Brussels, summit organizers avoided another Trumpian eruption only by prewriting the meeting’s formal policy agreement and keeping it from the American president until the last minute.

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Now, as President Emmanuel Macron of France prepares to host Mr. Trump and leaders from some of the world’s leading democracies in the south of France this weekend, the United States’ closest allies have all but given up on the idea that the Group of 7 summit will produce the kind of unity and consensus about global issues that has been its hallmark for more than four decades.

Trump heading to G-7 summit after insulting allied world leaders

Trump heading to G-7 summit after insulting allied world leaders "Our allies take advantage of us far greater than our enemies," the president said in a speech earlier this month

QUEBEC CITY — President Trump upended two days of global economic diplomacy late Saturday, refusing to sign a joint statement with America’s allies, threatening to escalate his trade war on the country’s neighbors and deriding Canada’s prime minister as “very dishonest and weak.”.

The Group of Seven ( G 7 ) is a group consisting of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. These countries

“I know the points of disagreement with the U.S.,” Mr. Macron lamented to reporters on Thursday as he acknowledged that the group would not even try to issue its usual joint statement, known as a communiqué. “It’s pointless.”

With the world facing ominous signs of a global economic slowdown and vexing political turbulence in hot spots around the world, Mr. Trump will arrive Saturday morning in Biarritz, France, with a blunt tariff club in his hand. And that poses a challenge to the United States’ trading partners.

“Their operating strategy is damage limitation,” said Charles Kupchan, a professor of international affairs at Georgetown University who served on the National Security Council staff during President Barack Obama’s tenure. “The first G7. The second G7. The NATO summit. Trump has basically blown them all up. I’m guessing that Macron is hoping to get out of Biarritz with no blood on the floor.”

Trump at G7: US President arrives for summit as global disputes threaten unity

Trump at G7: US President arrives for summit as global disputes threaten unity As the global economy shudders, the Middle East boils and the Amazon rainforest burns, world leaders are convening on France's Atlantic coast for a weekend of talks few believe can solve any of it. © Susan Walsh/AP In this August 21, 2019 photo, President Donald Trump walks down the steps of Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. President Donald Trump arrived in France Saturday morning after an overnight flight from Washington, his arrival preceded by more tit-for-tat tariff action that economists -- and most of the other Group of 7 heads -- believe is contributing to a global economic slump.

A photo of Trump appearing defiant in the face of other world leaders perfectly captured the dynamics at the summit, some said. In the photo, German Chancellor Angela Merkel stands behind a long, narrow table, both hands pressed firmly into its surface atop some documents that are angled every

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World Leaders’ G7 Expectations: A Nice Chat, Some Good Wine, No Unity With Trump© Pool photo by Christophe Petit Tesson President Emmanuel Macron of France, left, and Boris Johnson, the British prime minister, meeting ahead of the G7. “I know the points of disagreement with the U.S.,” Mr. Macron said.

He added: “If you go in with low expectations and no communiqué, that lowers the risk of a fiasco. You have a nice chat, you have some good wine, and you go home.”

The leaders of France, Germany, Britain, Italy, Japan, Canada and the United States will meet amid escalating alarms over the health of the global economy, which is slumping under the weight of Mr. Trump’s multifront trade wars. In the decades after World War II, such a slowdown typically spurred American presidents to help lead a global response to prevent or mitigate recessions.

But Mr. Trump’s willingness to use tariffs as leverage over allies as well as adversaries has severely strained the relationships with other leaders. On the day he was to leave Washington for the summit, Mr. Trump significantly escalated his tariff war, responding to China’s retaliation with another increase in his own levies on Chinese goods.

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Trump ’s negotiators brought a new brief text of the final communique to a pre-meeting of the G 7 on 26 Diplomatic sources said intense talks were under way to rescue some of the Italian agenda on Trump has come under pressure from other world leaders to stick with the UN climate change treaty

Some world leaders still reeling from their last interactions with the somewhat testy Trump at global summits earlier in the year. In a tweet, Trump said the world body has become "just a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time.

“China should not have put new Tariffs on 75 BILLION DOLLARS of United States product (politically motivated!),” the president tweeted on Friday.

Meanwhile, his disdain for multilateral institutions like the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the World Trade Organization has undermined the expectation of cooperation and collaboration in any combined effort to confront China or other countries.

“The postwar world, which the U.S. built, was essentially one where, if there was a theme, it was: ‘Everyone benefits from everyone else’s growth,’” said Raghuram G. Rajan, an economist at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, who once led India’s central bank. “It’s a positive-sum game. The idea was to help everyone grow through a rules-based system.”

“What’s changed,” Mr. Rajan said, “is the view that the growth of others is actually good for the U.S. There’s much more of a zero-sum rhetoric: If they grow, it’s at my expense.”

Despite the warnings of difficult headwinds, Mr. Trump continues to insist that the American economy has nothing to worry about. In a tweet Friday morning, he wrote that “the Fake News Media, together with their Partner, the Democrat Party, are working overtime to convince people that we are in, or will soon be going into, a Recession.”

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American officials say Mr. Trump is eager to contrast the economic success of his policies with those in slumping economies like Germany and France during a session that he called for on the global economy Sunday morning. But his fellow world leaders are not expected to hold back either.

“I think he will get an earful from the others,” said Peter Westmacott, a former ambassador to the United States from Britain. “There will be a sense that Trump’s trade policies are part of what is taking the world’s economy in the wrong direction.”

Manufacturing output is contracting worldwide, driven by slowdowns in Europe, the United States, China and Japan. Trade activity is also falling, as Mr. Trump and China escalate their tariffs on each other. Germany’s economy shrank in the spring.

The trade war has chilled business confidence, capital investment and hiring across major economies. Morgan Stanley researchers said this week that they expected global growth to fall at the end of the year to its lowest levels since the 2008 financial crisis ended. Central banks around the world, including the Federal Reserve, are cutting interest rates or signaling plans to inject more stimulus into their economies with monetary policy.

Mr. Trump frequently revels in other countries’ economic stumbles, casting them as competitors for a limited amount of prosperity worldwide. He has criticized the Fed, including on Friday morning, for not cutting rates more aggressively to match the low rates of Europe.

But economists warn that Mr. Trump is wrong to dismiss the threat to the American economy from his trade war. Trade plays a smaller role in American growth than in many other rich countries, but several indicators administration officials cited last year to show a “booming” American economy have all worsened, including plunging business investment and slowing factory output.

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Trump privately clashed with G7 leaders over reinviting Putin A sharp and sometimes bitter disagreement broke out between President Donald Trump and several G7 leaders over whether to allow Russia back into their club during a welcome dinner on Saturday, according to two diplomatic officials and a senior US official with knowledge of the exchange. © Ludovic Marin/AFP/Getty ImagesTrump, as he did in public over the course of the summit, ardently advocated for it, the officials said. As the leaders discussed issues like Iran and fires in the Amazon rainforest, Trump interjected and asked why Russia should not be included in the talks, given its size and role in global affairs.

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“I don’t think the U.S. can be an island of strong growth while the rest of the world is tanking,” Mr. Rajan said.

Mr. Macron, as this year’s host of the G7 gathering, is not counting on the United States to be a constructive part of other discussions. He has invited several leaders from African nations to be part of sessions on the challenges facing that continent. And the leaders of India, Australia, Chile and Spain will participate in conversations about the environment, terrorism, nuclear weapons and other issues.

French officials conceded that there is no hope that Mr. Trump joins the group in expressing its concern about the climate change despite news that fires in the Amazon rain forests could accelerate the planet’s environmental crisis. A few seemingly anodyne statements that diplomats from the seven countries prepared in advance will be released at the end of the summit, a European Union official said, among them a document on the partnership between African nations and the G7 countries and one on biodiversity.

For his part, Mr. Trump has already vented his frustration about France’s imposition of a tax on companies like Facebook. (He called it “foolishness” and risked insulting the G7 host by threatening tariffs on French goods, including wine, in response.) Beyond trade, disagreements about how to contain Iran’s nuclear ambitions remain stark.

“Rather than being defined by ambition, they seem to be more about survival and just getting through it,” said Derek Chollet, the executive vice president for security and defense policy at the German Marshall Fund. “They have seen the movie before. They don’t want to repeat it.”

That may be difficult, in part because of the presence of another larger-than-life personality: Boris Johnson, the new British prime minister.

Mr. Johnson and Mr. Trump are temperamental allies and the American president sees an opportunity for a bilateral trade deal with Britain if Mr. Johnson succeeds in breaking his country away from the European Union. The result could be what Mr. Chollet called “a bad buddy movie,” with Mr. Johnson and Mr. Trump together sticking it to their colleagues.

But Mr. Johnson may also have reason to keep his distance from Mr. Trump, who is deeply unpopular in Britain.

Mr. Westmacott said that the G7 still provided an opportunity for some of the world’s most important leaders to discuss serious problems facing their countries — if Mr. Trump and Mr. Johnson decided to let that happen.

“It should be a moment when there are frank discussions,” he said. “The question is really whether those two narcissistic, self-absorbed individuals actually want to operate in a collegial way and work with other heads of government to make progress on the difficult issues.”

“So far,” he added, “the jury is out.”

Matina Stevis-Gridneff contributed reporting from Brussels.

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