Economic storm clouds hovering over Trump and global leaders

Clay Curtis
August 24, 2019

Descending the steps of Air Force One with the first lady, President Trump arrived to Biarritz, France to join six other world leaders at the G-7 summit Saturday.

Upon arriving in France, Trump said the Group of Seven would accomplish a lot this weekend, but what he calls the US "spat" with China may dominate his meetings.

Local Basque specialties include Espelette chili pepper, ham, dry sausage, ewe's cheese, traditional cream cake and wines.

"We are going to try and mobilize everyone to raise funding for reforestation as quickly as possible", Macron said.

-China trade war, Trump's earlier suggestion that Russian Federation, which was expelled from the body in 2014, should be invited again and the president's threat of taxing French wine in retaliation for a tech tax that France imposes on some of the biggest US companies, like Apple and Facebook.

France has also made a point of reducing the environmental impact of the meals served at the summit.

That was the backdrop for a late addition to his summit schedule - lunch with French President Emmanuel Macron outside the opulent Hotel du Palais.

"We of course stand by the EU-Mercosur agreement, which is also about protecting the climate and the environment", he said.

In an attempt to lighten the mood, Macron deployed the charms of French cuisine diplomacy, treating the USA leader to a surprise lunch minutes after he had arrived on Air Force One.

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The test came after the US and Russian Federation withdrew from the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. He ordered the Defense Ministry and other agencies to "take comprehensive measures to prepare a symmetrical answer".

The leaders will not sign a joint agreement this year, but they are set to discuss the global economy, Iran, and whether Russian Federation should rejoin the group after it was kicked out in 2014 over the annexation of Crimea.

Addressing the global slowdown isn't the only pressing challenge that Trump has discovered requires joint action.

Donald Tusk was speaking as world leaders arrived in the French seaside town of Biarritz for the annual G7 meeting, which could be overshadowed by mass protests by climate activists on the French-Spanish border.

The ongoing trade war between the USA and China escalated shortly before the summit, after Trump raised tariffs.

Trump hit back immediately, with a sharp increase in his own tariffs on all Chinese imports.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will have a tete-a-tete with President Donald Trump this weekend on the margins of the G7 summit in France. "I'm not the president of the world".

Numerous summit proceedings will take place behind closed doors, in intimate settings designed for the leaders to develop personal relationships with one another.

Johnson said ahead of the summit that Britain would not retreat from its responsibilities on the world stage after Brexit, nor sacrifice its belief in the global order.

The meeting will also be the full worldwide debut of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is to meet Trump for the first time as leader. Trump has imposed or threatened to impose tariffs on all three markets in his pursuit of free, fair and reciprocal trade. Trump has scheduled individual meetings with several of his counterparts, including Macron, Trudeau, Merkel, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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