This weekend's G-7 summit of the leaders of the world's most powerful economies in France has, as it continues to be in the era of Trump, an endurance test to see if the other six nations can get any work done before the orange moron takes a big crap in the punchbowl.
President Trump arrived at a meeting of the world’s major powers here Saturday amid signs that the economic and political head winds gathering across the globe would be stirred rather than tempered at this year’s Group of Seven summit.
Hours before the meetings officially began, European Council President Donald Tusk warned that Trump’s trade wars could tip the world into a global recession. French President Emmanuel Macron surprised Trump with an impromptu lunch and began discussing “a lot of crises” as Trump sat stone-faced. And some Trump administration officials privately griped about the unscheduled meal and the French government’s decision to focus the G-7 on issues such as climate change and inequality instead of trade.
While Trump struck positive tones upon his arrival in Biarritz — tweeting “Big weekend with other world leaders!” — the tension surrounding the meeting was held barely below the surface as anxious diplomats kept close watch on the president’s Twitter account. Some Trump administration officials hinted that the president was prepared to disrupt the meeting’s carefully planned script with his trademark bombast.
The American president, who now has a track record of crashing into global forums with a torrent of tweets, complaints and bluster, came to Biarritz after spending days airing more grievances than guidance for global powers facing myriad challenges, including intensifying trade wars and a potential global recession.
During a special meeting on Sunday about the state of the global economy, requested by the White House, Trump will have an opportunity to set the tone for the gathering. While Macron has sought to organize the G-7 around issues such as global inequality and development in Africa, Trump plans to use the gathering to press his “America First” agenda on trade and economic growth, officials said.
On Saturday, Trump used his brief public remarks to praise the “perfect” weather and predict that Macron and other world leaders “will accomplish a lot.” But privately, some of his advisers were grumbling over the direction the summit was taking before it even officially began. Other U.S. officials, however, tried to tamp down the idea tensions were rising, saying that talks so far had been going well.
Once again, it's a case of the White House freely telling reporters they can probably manage the marmalade man-baby before he causes yet another international incident that will hurt America both in the respect department and financially.
In the days leading up to the summit, Trump escalated his trade war with China, blasted Denmark for not selling Greenland to the United States, declared the world to be in recession, harassed his central bank chairman, threatened tariffs against several of the G-7 nations, and called for G-7 outcast Russia to be readmitted to the group.
Trump’s continued embrace of “America First” — even in the face of growing signs of global economic turmoil — offers an indication that the various world powers will not be able to rely on the United States for steady leadership amid crisis, said Jon B. Alterman, senior vice president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
“There has been a complete realization on the world stage that the U.S. is not playing its traditional role, and may never again play the role it’s played for 75 years,” he said. “But it’s unclear what role the United States will play, and what the consequences of that might be.”
Donald Trump has effectively destroyed the current world order. America is now a dangerous rogue nuclear nation that freely sides with North Korea and Russia. Even if Trump resigned tomorrow along with Mike Pence and the entire GOP leadership in Congress, it will be years, if not decades before anyone trusts the United States ever again.
And why should any foreign leader do so? An America that can elect Trump and remains capable of re-electing him is also capable of anything in the autocratic villainy department.
It may well take the rest of my lifetime before we get back to, say, 2008 diplomatically.