Jun 13, 2018-
What ought to have been a crucial summit on international trade has had an ugly conclusion. The G7 meeting in Charlevoix, Quebec, has failed. In terms of diplomatic courtesies, there was little. Of an effort to address the contentious issues, there was none. The American President made no effort to compromise on his tariff war and Mr Trump came through as a reluctant guest of the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau. The US refused to sign the G7 communique. It was rather weak on climate change, but it did deserve the support of the US. Mr Trump’s steel and aluminium tariffs, announced on the eve of the summit, were of riveting interest in Quebec. But the tariffs as well as the forced technology transfers to China remain ever so contentious. For all the visuals with Angela Merkel and other European leaders, the US President has in the net damaged the trans-Atlantic cohesion between Europe and America. Quebec has witnessed another bout of what has been debunked as “Trumpian theatrics”. Quite an irony as theoretically at least, the US plays a pivotal role in G7. Arguably, a substantive initiative by the US and Europe would have strengthened the West’s position on the eve of the Trump-Kim summit. The US remains the cornerstone of the post-World War II international order. If that cornerstone gets denuded, international relations in general runs the risk of being threatened.
Published: 13-06-2018 07:52