Take-Aways from Trump’s Presence at the G7 Summit

The 45th president spurred more than his fair share of controversy at the 44th G7 Summit shortly before his meeting with Kim Jong Un.
June 11, 2018
3 mins read

Over the weekend, some of the world’s top leaders traveled to Quebec, Canada for the infamous G7 summit. The core members invited to the summit included Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union.

This was the 44th meeting, and people were anxious about the presence of the United States, as this is the first time President Trump attended the summit. Unfortunately, many of their worries were realized. 

Before the summit even began, France, as well as other members of the media, dubbed it the “G6 + 1.” This created not only a frenzy of “Like a G6” jokes but also a divide between the United States and the rest of the members before their planes had even landed in Canada.

If this summit was like a big family meeting, then Trump was the son that never quite left his emo phase, and says things like, “It’s not a phase mom! I can do this by myself!” 

At the summit, Trump proposed to reinstate Russia’s membership, and the idea was supported by Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte. Trump was also photographed showing up late to the G7 women’s empowerment meeting. He arrived 17 minutes late after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had finished speaking, and Isabelle Hudon, the Canadian ambassador to France, had begun.

The U.S. president’s faltering punctuality not only speaks to the wary public about his priorities concerning gender equality, but it also furthers unfavorable sentiments that the other countries had to, and were willing to, start without him. Naturally, many looked to the internet as it exploded with memes about the painfully ironic event. 

Even after this disastrously awkward moment, the bigger controversy was yet to come. Things were finally looking up when the leaders reached a consensus on a statement geared toward modernizing the World Trade Organization, but then Trump tweeted.

Unfortunately, the fact that Trump ruined a multi-country commitment with his own commitment to Twitter rants does not come as much of a surprise. 

Upon leaving the summit, Trump tweeted his determination that the United States would not actually support the G7 consensus because, he claims, Trudeau falsely communicated information at a press conference.

The agreement concerning the modernization of the World Trade Organization specifically focused on the involvement of tariff barriers and the international trading system. In Trump’s tweet, he claims that Canada is charging massive tariffs to U.S. workers, farmers, and companies. For good measure, he also called Prime Minister Trudeau “weak.” 

Trump argues that “We [the United States] are like the piggy bank that everyone’s robbing — and that ends.” Ultimately, no matter what Trump’s arguments hope to accomplish, the United States pulling out of a major consensus, last minute and via Twitter, does not look great. 

As the cherry on top of the sundae, Trump also left the summit early to fly to Singapore for his upcoming meeting with Kim Jong Un on Tuesday. As a result, he missed the discussions on climate control.

The president’s absenteeism comes in lieu of the fact that the G7 has been struggling to come to a consensus about moving forward with clean energy, sustainability practices and more, due to Trump’s belief that climate change does not exist.

In the end, it seems that the battle for America’s best interest, especially as a world top leader, is one that Trump is persistent on fighting alone.

Rebecca Crosby, American University

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Rebecca Crosby

American University


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