Ahead of its 44th summit in Canada today, G7 looks a wrecked ship
It could be the worst of all the Group of Seven (G7) summits in Quebec, Canada, on Friday and Saturday, June 8 and 9, as never in its 42-year history has the rich men's club been so divided, thanks to US President Donald Trump's "America First" policies that have put his country on a collision course with major powers, including Washington's allies.
Trump, in a quest to serve the US's industries, has imposed steep tariffs on steel and aluminium imports, including those from key G7 members like Canada, Japan besides the European Union. He has been particularly critical of Canada, a long-time friend of Washington, over the tariffs and the latter, too, has not let go the White House's decision without a backlash.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has refused Trump's proposal to scrap the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) and put into place a bilateral pact, annoying Washington more.
Ahead of the G7 summit, Trump blasted Trudeau on Twitter saying: "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!"
In another tweet, he took on France along with Canada, saying: "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."
In another tweet, he said: "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!"
The US's allies have found it tough in handling Washington in the Trump presidency as it has, besides threatening with trade war, has also walked out of important international agreements like the Paris climate deal and that on Iran to curb its nuclear ambitions.
As observers warned about "fireworks" at the upcoming G7 summit, French President Emmanuel Macron has asked the six members of the club to remain "polite" and productive while taking on Trump but at the same time, not to ensure that Europe meekly surrendered to the US president, Reuters reported.
"Maybe the American president doesn't care about being isolated today, but we don't mind being six, if needs be," Macron was quoted as saying to the media. "Because these six represent values, represent an economic market, and more than anything, represent a real force at the international level today," he was quoted as saying.
PM Trudeau also predicted "robust discussions" on trade but other G7 members like Japan and Italy were less likely to challenge Trump, Reuters added.