The G7 summit, a meeting of the leaders of the world’s seven largest advanced economies, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, is scheduled to start next Friday, June 8th, in Quebec, Canada. With just a short five days left, one would think that the agenda would be set, yes? Well, it is not. Not even close. I will give you only one guess as to the reason the summit plans remain in chaos. Think hard, now …
You got it! None other than Donald John Trump, the one who notoriously acted as a stubborn, unsupervised toddler at last year’s G7 in Taormina, Italy, when after three days of meetings and countless discussions, he refused to reaffirm the U.S.’ commitment to cutting greenhouse-gas emissions. In addition, he scolded Germany for its trade practices and lectured NATO members, saying they don’t pay their fair share. But this year is even worse … apparently he has single-handedly blown up the entire agenda!
My humble opinion is that, since Trump has, by his actions, ceded a global leadership role, the summit should be changed to the G6 and Trump considered of no value to the summit.
Initially, the agenda was slated to include such topics as climate change, women’s empowerment, peace, economic growth for all and jobs for the future. Well, while the other six leaders are in tune with those goals, they are not in keeping with Trump’s “America First” agenda. The only topic on which Trump did not disagree was ‘women’s empowerment’. That Trump agreed to this topic is one of life’s great ironies! Think about it … he calls for de-funding Planned Parenthood, the largest provider of women’s health services in the nation, and froze the equal pay rule, aimed at fighting employer discrimination against women and minorities. Not to mention that he is currently embroiled in a scandal over paying ‘hush money’ to a porn star after an extramarital affair, and has been accused by … I think the number is up to 19 now … women of sexual misconduct.
As if trying to find common ground for the agenda wasn’t hard enough, Trump’s decision last month to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal left our allies scrambling to try to salvage what was basically a working agreement. And then, just a few days ago, Trump imposed harsh and unnecessary tariffs on Mexico, Canada and the EU, further angering other G7 nations. Boy, he sure knows how to make a party fun, doesn’t he?
Then there is the concern that Trump will use the G7 to publicly take Germany to task over its military spending, for it is a known fact that he has no filter and blurts out whatever he is thinking at any given moment.
The purpose of the G7 summit is to serve as a forum for highly industrialized democracies to coordinate economic, security, and energy policy. It is a venue where ideas are exchanged and problems discussed. It is a venue for global cooperation, not for one player to bully all the rest. These seven leaders are on equal footing … they are each elected leaders of their nations and their interest is in global cooperation to help make the world a more prosperous, safer place. When one player comes to the table believing that he is somehow superior to the rest, believing that he, somehow is the leader of the group, then nothing good can come out of it.
I seriously think it would be in the global best interest for Mr. Trudeau to call Mr. Trump and rescind his invitation, rename the summit the G6 summit, and move on with an agenda that addresses the pressing issues of the day, starting with climate change. Let the bully stay at home and spew his hateful bluster here … the rest of the world should not have to contend with him, and when he leaves home, he does nothing but cause us shame and embarrassment anyway.