Trump Will Be Standing Alone at G7
President Donald Trump is likely to get an earful at the G7 summit later this week in Quebec from The Canadians and Europeans who are upset about the steel and aluminum tariffs he imposed on their exports. They don’t like that their exports will be more expensive in the United States and they really don’t like that national security has been provided as the rationale for slapping the tariffs on the metals.
But is a deeper and more profound feeling of anxiety that will be felt at the G7. There “is a growing concern that the entire rules-based international system and the institutions that underlie it are increasingly at risk,”said Bill Reinsch, a senior adviser and Scholl Chair in International Business at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Trump’s tariffs “suggests a willingness to act unilaterally and go outside the existing institutions,” Reinisch told reporters on a conference call on Monday, “not only institutions like the G7 and the G20 but also institutions like the WTO that really provide the basis for the rules-based global trading system. The United States has spent 70 years first creating and then building that up. So I think the president’s going to be pressed not only on immediate tariffs, but on the long-term implications of the U.S. trade policy.”
“I agree entirely with Bill that on the economic issues, trade is going to be kind of first and foremost discussed,” added Stephanie Segal, CSIS deputy director and senior fellow of the Simon Chair in Political Economy. “And that is going to be a pretty tough environment for the United States.”
The president and members of his administration often complain about unfair trade practices of other countries. But at this G7, six countries will be standing together against what they consider to be US unfair trade practices, according to Heather Conley, director of CSIS’s Europe program.
“America stands very much alone as they enter this G7,” she said. “They’re alone in several areas. Obviously, on the tariffs. Also on the Iran nuclear agreement, the JCPOA, not only is there a difference about the departure of the agreement, but Europe will probably feel the brunt of secondary sanctions here coming on line in the next few months. Obviously, the other six do not share the U.S. view about the recognition of Jerusalem and, of course, the U.S. removal from the Paris climate agreement. So, on these fundamental issues, America continues to be isolated on these broader multilateral objectives.”