Japanese media sources including the Japan Times are reporting that the G7 meeting this weekend is expected to end without an official communique presenting joint beliefs and intentions from the attending national leaders. This would mark the first time since the G7 meetings began that such a basic agreement could not be reached.
Rather than produce a joint communique, summary papers are expected to be released detailing views discussed on individual issues. This will allow the differing views by the nations to be demonstrated while avoiding any appearance of forced unanimity over traditionally basic “Western” views, in particular the value of protectionism over international trade.
Market News International reported last week that France’s Emmanuel Macron had been pushing to bypass the communique due to conflicts with President Donald Trump over international trade, monetary policy, human rights, global warming, African development and more.
It is seen as an effort to bypass the difficulties encountered at the last G7 meeting, where President Trump instructed the U.S. to pull out of the official communique after it had been crafted because he objected to some of the wording. The hasty reconstruction of the message was seen as a political failure on the part of the nations who agreed to mollify the American President.
This is expected to reflect poorly on international trade issues. As Market News reports:
“some G7 sherpas, including the U.S. itself, are pushing back, arguing that the deterioration of global economic conditions is too serious for the G7 not to issue some kind of ‘reassurance’ statement about this part of the discussions, albeit if only a summary of the talks to try and reassure markets.”
The failure of the U.S. to convince other nations to produce something they’ve always been able to write displays a growing rift between the U.S. and its strongest allies, including countries like France and Japan, whose leaders Macron and Abe were viewed just two years ago as very friendly to Trump.