G7 Summit 2018 - Reality Show Edition ✨💫

 Photo: Angela Merkel

Photo: Angela Merkel

Remind me about the G7

The Group of 7 (G7) consists of the world’s seven largest advanced economies: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, plus the EU. It used to be called the G8, including Russia, before the other seven countries voted to unanimously expel Russia for annexing Crimea in 2014. Combined, the G7 accounts for 70% of the world’s net wealth.
  
Rocking the boat
 

Before Trump left the US for this year’s G7 summit in La Malbaie, Quebec, Canada, he got the conversation going early by: 

  1. Calling for the readmission of Russia to the group
  2. Imposing further tariffs on America’s allies
  3. Floating the idea that all tariffs and trade barriers be removed amongst G7 countries


The right has often not been a fan of organizations like the G7. They bill it as an elitist organization and summit that is biased towards countries with more liberal political leadership. The right calls out data, selectively, that makes the U.S. look like its been systematically disadvantaged in the global trade arena. The right also mentions how Russia’s readmission could lead to a less progressive agenda at the G7 and how member countries, except for Japan, aren’t spending enough on their mutual defense obligations.

The left continues to focus on Trump’s signature seemingly erratic behavior, such as his off-the-cuff remarks that perhaps all trade barriers should be removed among the G7, while a few hours later threatening to raise tariffs on auto imports. The left further takes jabs at the President for arriving late and leaving early for certain sessions, such as one on women’s empowerment (he left early to fly to Singapore for the summit with North Korea).


G6: Will Trump Pull Out?

Unlikely. At the end of the day, the G7 is the preeminent “club” of the world where business still gets done. However, valid data points are raised by both sides. Yes, Canada has a 270% tariff on US dairy, but the US leverages tariffs of 350% on tobacco and 160% on shelled peanuts with some countries. If U.S. services are taken into account, the overall U.S. trade balance looks more favorable with many countries. The U.S. trade situation isn’t as bad as pitched by the media, but that can be difficult to understand for a family producing “goods,” such as dairy and peanuts, when faced with targeted tariffs on their products. 

When you hear "peanut tariffs"

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