Trump paints picture of unity at prickly G7 summit

BIARRITZ, France (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday stated he was getting alongside effectively along with his Western allies at a G7 summit in France, dismissing experiences of rifts amongst leaders as they ready to debate world commerce woes.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson maintain a bilateral assembly in the course of the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, August 25, 2019. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez/Pool

The G7 gathering is happening towards a backdrop of rising worries a few world financial downturn and coincides with an period of worldwide disunity throughout an array of points which have strained decades-old allegiances.

“Before I arrived in France, the Fake and Disgusting News was saying that relations with the 6 others countries in the G-7 are very tense, and that the two days of meetings will be a disaster,” Trump wrote on Twitter shortly earlier than assembly British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

“Well, we are having very good meetings, the Leaders are getting along very well, and our Country, economically, is doing great – the talk of the world!”

However, main coverage variations over commerce protectionism, local weather change, Iran and France’s push for a common tax on digital expertise giants clouded the run-up to the summit within the Atlantic coastal resort of Biarritz.

Trump arrived in France simply hours after escalating his commerce warfare with China in a tit-for-tat battle between the world’s two largest economies that has spooked monetary markets.

“I am very worried about the way it’s going, the growth of protectionism, of tariffs that we’re seeing,” the UK’s Johnson stated on Saturday.

“Those who support the tariffs are at risk of incurring the blame for the downturn in the global economy, irrespective of whether or not that is true.”

Underlining the discord, Trump additionally threatened his host on the eve of the summit, saying the United States would tax French wine “like they’ve never seen before” until Paris dropped a digital tax on U.S. expertise corporations.

Leaping into the fray, European Council President Donald Tusk, who takes half within the G7 discussions, warned the EU would reply “in kind” if Trump acted on his menace.

“This may be the last moment to restore our political community,” Tusk instructed reporters on Saturday, giving a bleak evaluation of Western relations.

Looking to broaden the scope of the controversy, Macron has invited a number of African leaders to debate the issues dealing with their continent, whereas leaders from India, Australia, Chile and Spain are on account of attend a dinner on Sunday the place the main focus will likely be on the setting and different points.


Trump up-ended final yr’s G7 summit in Canada, strolling out of the assembly early and disassociating himself from the ultimate communique having initially endorsed the doc.

The delegations had barely arrived in Biarritz earlier than variations had been uncovered, with senior U.S. officers accusing the host, French President Emmanuel Macron, of wanting “to fracture the G7” by specializing in “niche issues” quite than main world considerations.

France denied this, pointing to Sunday’s preliminary session masking the economic system, commerce and safety – areas that used to attract simple consensus however are actually sources of nice friction.

Overnight, Trump wrote on Twitter that lunch with Macron was the very best assembly the pair had but had, and assembly with world leaders on Saturday night additionally “went very well.”

France has received across the communique downside by removing the time-honored doc, deciding it was not value even looking for frequent language.

While the transatlantic rift is essentially the most stark, there are additionally deep divisions inside the European camp, with Johnson making his G7 debut at a time when he’s struggling to steer EU capitals to renegotiate Britain’s exit from the bloc.

Johnson and Tusk, who’re on account of discuss on Sunday, sparred forward of the assembly over who would take the blame if Britain leaves the EU on Oct. 31 with out a Brexit settlement acceptable to either side.

“I still hope that PM Johnson will not like to go down in history as Mr No Deal,” stated Tusk, who leads the political course of the 28-nation EU.

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Johnson later retorted that it could be Tusk himself who would carry that mantle if Britain couldn’t safe a brand new withdrawal settlement.

Macron added to the inner EU strains by unexpectedly threatening on Friday to dam an EU commerce take care of a bunch of South American states over Brazil’s dealing with of fires which can be ravaging the Amazon rainforest.

Germany and Britain each voiced deep concern concerning the fires, however disagreed with Macron on the best way to reply, saying capturing down the formidable Mercosur commerce accord wouldn’t assist save the Amazon.

Reporting by Richard Lough, Crispian Balmer, Marine Pennetier, John Chalmers, Jeff Mason, John Irish, Andreas Rinke, William James and Michel Rose; writing by Crispian Balmer; enhancing by Jason Neely

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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