Intense G-7 Feuding: Is That Good or Bad?

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The G-7 is off with a bang-up feud between Trump and Macron. Why does it matter?

Rocky Start

The Wall Street Journal reports G-7 Summit Off to Rocky Start as U.S. Officials Assail France.

The Group of Seven summit got off to a turbulent start Saturday as U.S. officials privately criticized President Emmanuel Macron for his handling of the meeting after the French leader invited President Trump to an impromptu lunch to press him on issues ranging from Iran to the fires in the Amazon.

Hours after Mr. Trump arrived in France, U.S. officials privately accused Mr. Macron of ignoring Washington’s input ahead of the event and of focusing its agenda on “niche” issues, such as climate change and development in Africa, to appeal to the French president’s political base.

Climate change was a major focus of last year’s G-7, too, and other world leaders said the issue was a priority ahead of this year’s summit, particularly as fires raging in the Amazon have prompted concerns about damage to the region’s ecosystem and the global environment.

The flurry of criticism came after Mr. Macron intercepted Mr. Trump moments after his arrival in Biarritz, inviting him to a tête-à-tête lunch without any of their aides at the table. The two hadn’t been scheduled to meet one-on-one.

On Saturday, U.S. officials accused the French of privately blaming the White House in conversations with other countries for not wanting to reach a consensus ahead of the summit—a notion U.S. officials rejected. The U.S. does, however, support not issuing a joint communiqué this year, saying such statements have become a “catchall,” officials said.

Smiling Faces

Good or Bad?

Yesterday morning, many media outlets posted the above image hinting at intense cooperation.

Surprise not.

But, is this open feuding good or bad?

As I started writing this post my inclination was neither. This is more meaningless nonsense.

Every year the G-7 gets together and puts out some fluff rah-rah let's have more trade rah-rah.

Every year it's meaningless chatter. France will not move on free trade. And now Trump won't either.

Different Isn't Bad

Different isn't bad, but it may not be any good.

I suspect more meaningless nonsense.

But if I had to choose between good and bad, I would take good.

Let the fists fly.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (25)
caradoc-again
caradoc-again

All a-holes playing a part.

caradoc-again
caradoc-again

On the group picture of 5, at least 3 are closer to exit stage left than entrance stage right. You might say it's true of all of them.

At least it is of Tusk. Conte. Merkel and probably Johnson. Macron unpopular but grins like an idiot.

What a waste of time and money, talking crap. Waiting to finish the role on a juicy index linked pension courtesy of the pleb tax drones.

caradoc-again
caradoc-again

Lastly. Body language on that photo.

Macron face off to Johnson, Merkel looks worried in between. It says something.

Conte looks furtive and towards the back, perhaps wondering if he should be there at all, with Macron turning away as if Conte is unimportant and Tusk looks like Tusk, as photogenic as ever.

I might have some very little respect for Trump if he didn't bother to turn up. Same for Johnson.

Didn't Macron want to go into the theatre? That's all it is on a big stage. Theatre.

Sechel
Sechel

Instead of wondering if this is 'good' or 'bad' i view it as symbolic and typical of Trump's inability to interact and function with others. Everyone has disagreements but with Trump is is the norm. It's no wonder Trump eschews multilateralism and agreements. He can't interact and get along with anyone.

Of course its a negative if our President can't get along and interact on the world stage. The only examples of a world tour that appeared to off well was when Trump visited Saudi Arabia and was showered with gifts and praise which should never be necessary and simply comes off poorly

Casual_Observer
Casual_Observer

G-7 is a lot of pretending. The autocrats have more impact on the global stage which isnt surprisingly. While the G-7 is busy booking a conference room, the autocrats are executing their next move.

Six000mileyear
Six000mileyear

Feuding is part of patterned human behavior. The rapid and intense change from cooperation to disagreement means Western civilization is entering an economic slowdown of large scale proportions.

Augustthegreat
Augustthegreat

Isn’t G6+1 outdated? What can they achieve? G20 is more meaningful

abend237-04
abend237-04

I read it as a sign of progress that Trump agreed to attend at all, versus sending Pence, as I expected. I'm optimistic that he can, and is learning, but nothing useful is likely to result. G7 meetings are what's known in business as "Sniff-in" meetings: None attending either expect or want change and are there to sniff out threats. Such was Macron's lunch meeting with Trump. An optimist could also imagine a ray of hope that, in the wake of yet another G7 nothing burger meeting, someone will eventually float the idea of the need for a functional GX/WTO equivalent forum providing an opportunity for fair and impartial arbitration of trade disputes. I don't anticipate real progress on the following difficult issues without such a forum: Germany dominates european trade and finance via the ECU and is keenly sensitive to any threat to her export engine. China has grown up economically in 40 years through mercantilism and disregard of IP rights. She's having a difficult time dealing with rising demands that she now play by the big boy trade rules and Trump's Tweet negotiation tactics provide ample fodder for demagogues everywhere.

Overall, progress maybe...in the sense of having to go through Gettysburg to get to Appomattox.

Curious-Cat
Curious-Cat

After this weekend's reports of the President's comments among our allies, I wonder how much longer it will be before serious influential citizens (read the people with money and power) begin to quietly discuss and deal with the President's apparently failing mental health. Was this quietly discussed at JH? It is inconceivable that it's not being considered. Prudent citizens in power will remain silent until they are united in principle.

RonJ
RonJ

"Climate change was a major focus of last year’s G-7, too, and other world leaders said the issue was a priority ahead of this year’s summit, particularly as fires raging in the Amazon have prompted concerns about damage to the region’s ecosystem and the global environment."

Didn't see anything about this on the local "news." https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-08-23/more-wildfires-are-burning-angola-congo-brazil

phantom363
phantom363

"Our house is burning. Literally. The Amazon rain forest - the lungs which produces 20% of our planet’s oxygen - is on fire. It is an international crisis," Macron tweeted. Had he done this about Angola or Congo, nobody would have cared. It is all posturing and winning votes.

phantom363
phantom363

Wouldn't it be nice to decide the China/US trade tiff, by putting Xi/Trump in a boxing pen and have 10 rounds? The winner gets to set the rules. Similarly for the Nordstream gas line . It will be Trump/Merkel :) in the boxing ring. If Trump wins, Germany buys American gas.

MrGrumpy
MrGrumpy

I wonder what is discussed behind closed doors. I suppose we may never know. The public banter may be just a smoke screen.

FromBrussels
FromBrussels

....Champagne and kaviar always tend to create a jolly atmosphere.... and when it comes to it we can print some more money... and the amazon....bwah, who still needs an ecosystem these days as long as we have an ipad and (private) planes....and kaviar and champagne, of course ....

altheqa
altheqa

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