As President Donald Trump meets with other leaders of the top seven industrialized nations, there are reportedly undercurrents of anger from the Trump administration being aimed at this year’s host, French President Emmanuel Macron, according to Politico.
Specifically, the White House is said to be upset that instead of focusing on trade and security, Macron is also insisting that climate change be on the agenda for discussion:
Far from traveling to France with conciliatory language, senior U.S. officials opened fire on arrival, with one of them accusing Macron of seeking “to fracture the G7.” The official accused Macron of trying to shift focus away from trade to issues such as climate change, which will play well in France and leave the U.S. looking isolated. That accusation was swiftly denied by the French camp.
There are already deep divisions between the seven nations represented at Biarritz, a glitzy beach resort that has long been a point of pride for the French. Germany, which is heavily depending upon exports, appears to be heading into a recession, and Great Britain — represented by new Prime Minister Boris Johnson — faces the possibility of a no-deal Brexit, which could also lead to an economic downtown in England.
Trump hasn’t exactly helped matters, threatening France before he departed Washington on Friday with new tariffs in response to a digital tax imposed by Macron. Trump said if Macon refuses to lift the “unfair” tax:
“We’ll be taxing their wine like they’ve never seen before.”
But it was the issue of the environment that has drawn the most ire from top White House aides:
Macron’s emphasis on the environment was a particular grievance in the U.S. camp. U.S. officials accused the French leader of focusing on issues such as climate change and gender equality to leave Washington in the cold. A senior administration official said France decided “months ago” not to aim for a final communiqué on which there could be a consensus. “This was done to appease and play to Macron’s base and domestic audience,” the official said.
European nations are also warning Trump that if he decides to expand his trade war into their hemisphere, he will be met with retaliatory tariffs that could well cripple the U.S. economy even further, with European Council President Donald Tusk commenting:
“Trade wars among G7 members will lead to weakening the already eroding trust among us. If the U.S. imposes tariffs on France, the EU will respond in kind … We have to be ready for this bad scenario.”
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