Fast facts on Friday’s trade developments with Trump at G-7

WHAT’S HAPPENING

Solidifying his solo status on the world stage, President Donald Trump is lashing out at longtime allies over their critiques of his trade policies, and he plans an early exit from the annual Group of Seven meeting of industrialized nations. Trump descended Friday on the annual gathering, held this year at a Quebec resort. He will leave Saturday morning before the Group of Seven meeting is over, heading to Singapore for his highly anticipated summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The White House announced Trump’s travel plans after French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau signaled that they would use the event to take a stance against new U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

WHAT’S NEXT

The president will skip out on G-7 meetings about climate change, clean energy and ocean protection. A key question is whether the seven countries can agree on a joint statement of priorities at the end of the meeting. A gathering of G-7 finance ministers concluded last week with a message of “concern and disappointment” for Trump from the other six countries. France’s finance minister described the group as “far more a G-6 plus one than a G-7.”

THE BACKDROP

This marks Trump’s second summit of the G-7, which meets each year under a rotating chairmanship. The member countries are Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Germany, the United States and Britain. The European Union also attends. Trump is set to hold group and one-on-one meetings, including with Trudeau and Macron. Under Trump, the United States has abandoned its traditional role in the G-7. His predecessors pressed for freer global trade and championed a trading system that required countries to follow World Trade Organization rules. Trump’s policies have been protectionist and confrontational, driven by a perception that the U.S. has been the victim of poorly conceived trade deals.

This article provided by NewsEdge.