G7 Summit: The Shaping of International Relations


2018 G7 Summit

This years summit was held in Charlevoix, Quebec, Canada. With the leaders of the G7 countries (The United States, Britain, Canada, Japan, Germany, France and Italy) as well as representation from the European Union in attendance. During the meeting, both bilateral and multilateral negotiations took place between the different states on a variety of topics.

There are seven main focuses for this G7 meeting:
  • The Gender Gap
  • Economic Growth
  • Employment
  • Climate Change
  • Sustainable Development
  • Peace and Security
  • Further G7 Integration
Within the focus of the gender gap, current objectives are both to increase awareness and effectiveness of addressing the issue within the respective countries as well as methods of investing in limiting the effects of the pay gap.

Economic growth and trade is a big topic, focused on current economic growth within the respective economies, increase investment internationally.

The Main Issue

The big issue being brought to the meetings, however, is that of trade and tariffs. There are currently huge trade deficits in favor of most of the other G7 members toward the U.S., most notably Canada and the EU.

Climate change was big on the agenda for this years meeting, looking at improving current targets. There were mentions of trying to convince President Trump to potentially rejoin the Paris Accord, however, given that Trump was not there for the meeting and was firm in his stance of putting U.S. industry first, such attempts seem unlikely.

Under Security talks, the idea of a rapid response unit against hostile state actions has been put forward. This has been championed by Prime Minister Theresa May, after the incident in Salisbury of ex Russian agent Sergei Skripal being poisoned.

Bringing Russia Back to the Table

Going into the talks, President Trump has suggested the idea of bringing Russia back to the table and re-establishing the group as G8. This has been met with challenge by other leaders, most notably Germany’s Angela Merkel and a Canadian spokesman.

It is important to note that discussion will be heavily impacted by President Trumps economic foreign policy aims. The aims being to reduce trade imbalances between specific countries on specific goods.

The End of the Summit

As the summit drew to a conclusion, the interaction between G7 leaders has demonstrated in what way future bi and multilateral relations shall take place with the other countries. It has shown interesting alliances developing between individuals that are likely to shape future interactions both regionally and globally.

President Trump and President Sergio Mattarella seemed to develop friendly ties in their interaction, with President Trump tweeting how he felt the Italians had “made a good choice.”

It seems future interaction between Canada and the U.S. shall have high tensions until an agreement can be reached regarding the U.S. trade deficit.

Similarly, with the EU, it is likely that the U.S. will look to begin negotiations to reduce the trade deficit there as well. Tensions seemed particularly high between President Macron and President Trump in the run-up to the event after Macron commented about American isolationism.

There were no bilateral talks held between the UK and the U.S., and Prime Minister Theresa May felt the need to reassure commenting on how the lack of talks “wasn’t a snub to the U.S.”

The conclusion that was presented begs more questions than answers as to the future of certain ties, with President Trump rescinding his approval for the final statement of the summit. As President Trump turns his attention to Singapore, one can be assured that this summit will have certain defining effects as to particular interactions for a while.

Ray Jones / Writer

I am a Proud Patriot. I have a degree in History and International Law with an interest in anthropology. I aim to make Americans realize their greatness!

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