Is it beneficial to upset the status quo just to upset the status quo? Donald Trump backed out of a joint communique on trade with the other G7 countries — a definite “upset the status quo” move, but considering the uselessness of these exercises in diplomatic maneuvering, what’s the point?
“PM Justin Trudeau of Canada acted so meek and mild during our @G7 meetings only to give a news conference after I left saying that, ‘US Tariffs were kind of insulting’ and he ‘will not be pushed around.’ Very dishonest & weak. Our Tariffs are in response to his of 270% on dairy!” the U.S. president tweeted.
In his press conference, Trudeau had spoken of retaliatory measures that Canada would take next month in response to Trump’s decision to slap tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union.
“Canadians, we’re polite, we’re reasonable but we also will not be pushed around,” Trudeau, the host of the two-day summit in La Malbaie, Quebec, told reporters.
Reacting to Trump’s tweets, Trudeau’s office said: “We are focused on everything we accomplished here at the summit. The Prime Minister said nothing he hasn’t said before – both in public, and in private conversations with the President.”
Yes, Trudeau deserves to be spanked and it certainly upsets the status quo with Canada, but to what end? Simply antagonizing our closest ally serves no larger purpose.
Trump’s salvo capped a dizzying two days of controversies that began with his suggestion Russia be readmitted to the G7, then what a French official described as a “rant” full of “recriminations” against U.S. trading partners, followed by Trump’s denial of any contention with leaders at the summit and his description of their relationship as a “10.”
It is the status quo for Trump to lie. When’s he going to change that?
By ordering his representatives to back out of the communique, Trump appeared to be asserting his oft-stated aim of upsetting the status quo whether by pulling out of the global climate accord or the international nuclear deal with Iran or threats to scrap the North American Free Trade Agreement.
The communique, which appeared to have papered over the cracks that have surfaced in the G7, said the leaders of the United States, Canada, Britain, France, Italy, Germany and Japan agreed on the need for “free, fair, and mutually beneficial trade” and the importance of fighting protectionism.
“We strive to reduce tariff barriers, non-tariff barriers and subsidies,” the statement said.
The G7 meetings are international theater, not serious venues where anything important is decided. The outcome of these meetings is always carefully planned in advance so that there are no surprises for leaders to be embarrassed by.
What purpose is served by torpedoing the international comity which is the only thing of value that emerges from these meetings? Trump simply acting like a bull in a china shop because the bull is too stupid to know any better is useless posturing and no more.