politics

U.S. isolated at G7 meeting as tariffs prompt retaliation

40 Comments
By Leika Kihara and Gernot Heller

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"imposed under a false pretext of safeguarding U.S. national security."

Trump and the GOP are scare-mongering once again trying to convince their followers to worry even more - while they’re losing their jobs and paying more for products they need because of his trade war. Among Trump's base are those who fear the most. Many have private arsenals rivaling police departments, preparing themselves for imagined enemies at home and abroad. 

Trump’s even included coal under the national security blanket. But he’s doing that in return for the millions the coal industry nabobs ‘donated’ to him. 

Trump’s America: for sale to the highest bidders. 

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-06-01/trump-energy-plan-is-about-insecurity-not-national-security

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Does G7 Finance Ministers Summit have any meaning to be a summit meeting? I feel that they meet each other and smiled, no more no less than that. In spite of the UN still alive it's almost the same to this G7, they only meet and smile each other. It's time to have at least G11, where India, Russia, China and S. Africa have the next turn, and may be G15 with Australia, Mexico, South Korea, Israel/S,Arabia(one of them). Brics is kind of dead Brazil to be the worst at this moment. From Europe better only 2, from the EU only 1 representing the whole EU countries + Brexit UK. I don't think G7 is an important summit meeting to better world vision.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Does G7 Finance Ministers Summit have any meaning to be a summit meeting?

I have been thinking this for a while now. What exactly does a G7 meeting achieve?

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Theres already G20, which is the actual place to address the current economics issues in the world

G7 is just bunch of old boys patting each other's back to feel safe/good.

Maybe this year it won't even have that lol

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

It's time to have at least G11, where India, Russia, China and S. Africa have the next turn, and may be G15 with Australia, Mexico, South Korea, Israel/S,Arabia(one of them). Brics is kind of dead Brazil to be the worst at this moment. 

The G6 later G7 [ including Canada] was set up as an informal meeting between the 7 most advanced industrial nations plus the EU in the early 70s of the last century en met for the first time in 1975. US measurements by the Nixon administration [ leaving the gold standard ] and macroeconomic issues in the aftermath of the energy crisis in 1970 was the driver for the organisation.

You've a point that the world economy has more and new players and that a vision could be widened by them.

There's actually a G 15 summit for developing nations including Brazil, India, Argentina, Mexico, Egypt and Indonesia.

Within the G7 the founding countries wouldn't be eager to leave their positions and if you like it or not, these countries are still the most advanced industrial nations, developed nations.

There's one world but in development there are more streams and I believe that the most advanced countries should take the lead on certain issues and that the Group may expand only when there's some 'level playing field' between the group members.

Personally I would prefer South Korea above Italy to mention something. China has issues with all G 7 members on IP and the absence of a level playing field in business and trade.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Whistler is a fun town. Loved skiing there when I was younger.

Seems President Trump wants every "deal" to be isolated from all the others. That isn't how the world works between countries and he's foolish for not recognizing this BEFORE running for Prez.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

trump loves throwing his minions in the fire dealing with his dirty work,yet steering clear of the fire.But then again,that's how he was able to draft dodge. And still, people up on here defend him more than their own parents.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

So the USA is isolated.... believe me, that is what they all want the U.S. to think.... The EU.... has zero clout.... Zero. They're a bunch of cronies that are trying to protect those with vested interest. They say they don't want to change the way they live, they don't want to work as hard as American's.... but really, all they are doing is protecting the status quo.... and the idiots in Europe.... the so called intellectuals, believe their righteous BS. They want to think that because they've studied history more, that they know better. Progress does not wait for History. Progress is history. They are even more brainwashed than Americans are.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

and the idiots in Europe

have a better social welfare safety net than the rest of the planet. They also have an individual voice with an intelligent vote from the people that put the 27+1 leaders in power to run Europe. 51% of Americans have all the clout I guess, Hmmmmmm. but ostracised at the last meeting.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Hilarious post SaikoPhysco - writing such crude parodies of small-minded America helps to highlight the weakness of their position.

The anti-intellectualism really brings out a genuine part that you see in the American psyche, and you portray it very well. As you know, it is America that is trying to protect the status quo by artificially protecting its clapped out industry by trying to block higher-quality European imports. But of course the "author" wouldn't understand this.

You also wittily depict the annoyance of a certain type of American at the way Europeans do not work as hard as Americans. Look at the French - work only 35 hours a week and an annual 30 days paid leave! They should be slaving away, the good for nothings... .Look at Germany - work an average of 1,371 hours per year at $26 per hour. Compare to America: 1,789 hours per year at $24.6 per hour. Fewer, higher paid hours - how dare they!

As you also clearly comprehend, those who understand history usually have a better understanding of the present and the future, but your small-minded angry man from middle America wouldn't understand that. You portray his anger and frustration very well!

Anyway, great work - keep the humour coming!

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Instead of tariffs to control the monetary loss , the US should dramatically restrict or stop the massive foreign aid handed out and greatly reduce or stop the military umbrella sheltering so much of the world. You don't know what you got till its gone, or real thirst till the well runs dry.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

U.S. Tariffs are some of the lowest in the world.

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/03/22/u-s-tariffs-are-among-the-lowest-in-the-world-and-in-the-nations-history/

These nation's need to stop this complaining and grasping of the status quo in order to keep there pockets filled, and do the right thing by the U.S. Peace.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

yeah, isolated until someone needs help or a handout..

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Uncle Donald never cares all of you so called 'Allies'! For him, all of you were jokers! Just you guys don't want to believe this!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Netgrump: South Korea above Italy? Exactly, why? Italy economy is still bigger than South Korea economy, if you don't know it. Plus, to the one that suggested that the EU should be represented by only one Country: this comment shows this person doesn't know the EU at all. Which Country should represent the interests of the whole EU? Germany? France, Italy, Spain wouldn't agree with that AT ALL.

Sure, G7 shows an obsolete view of the world. But exactly for this reason we have already G20.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@Netgrump: Italy economy is also bigger than Canada economy, that is a member of the G7 too.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

South Korea economy isn't even in the top ten.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Well, I fully expect the so-called “leader” of Make America Great Again to pull his tiny hands out of the G7 and G20 because they are mean to him. And only listen to Fake News from Lefties. (Like Aso). Hahahahahahaha... urumph.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The nations of the world have appeased the US for too long and look where it has gotten us. It is time the nations of the world regained their sovereignty and pushed back against US domination. The US has even had the hide to threaten its allies over where the World Cup is going to be held.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@ Alex80

First it's not only about size but also about forecasts, second it's my opinion based on what's happening right now in your country. As I said, the founding fathers of the G7 will not give up their positions so don't worry about Italy...

Just some figures:

Italy has 60 million and Korea 50 million inhabitants so we'll do GDP per capita and Italy scores higher but when you look at purchasing power parity [PPP] S-Korea does 34986 to Italy 34620 USD per capita.

GDP annual growth Italy : 1.40% S-Korea: 2.80 %

Competitiveness ranking Italy : place 43 S-Korea : 26

Unemployment: Italy : 11.30 % S-Korea : 3.8 %

Youth unemployment Italy : 31.70 % S-Korea : 10.7 %

For inflation, food inflation, savings, debts there's not that much difference.

On debt: Italy is accountable for 20% of the European Central Bank [ECB] debt.

The new government may be the 'Vox Populi' of the Italian electorate but is a pretty risky undertaking in the EU family with for example an initiative to give people who live under a minimum level a basic income of 780 EUR. Draghi of the ECB will stop buying gov bonds in september 2018. We'll see what that will do with the interest rate kept artificially low by the ECB measurements. We in the north want higher [not too] interest rates to save our pensions :)

Historian Giovanni Orsina mentioned the influence of the TV stations of Silvio Berlusconi on the spirit of the Eighties along with creativity, freedom of choice and economic growth. Berlusconi simplified the political language, listened and asked what the people want and has with Trump a worthy successor. But Berlusconi was first.

Orsina remembers Italy as a happy country and that the Eighties were the last happy decade of the Italians. 'Now Italy is a sad, depressive country'.

The last time I was in Italy was in 1988.

Berlusconi's club AC Milan was ruling Europe and the World and when I was at a bakery in Milan pointing to a picture with 3 of my compatriots and leading players of that team we all smiled because we all loved that team.

Yesterday I saw Kaos, a great film by the Taviani brothers [ 1984] with a few stories situated on Sicily. I always loved the human scale in Italian filmmaking. A Japanese filmmaker like Hirokazu Koreeda is known for that too, looking forward to see his Golden Palm winner of this year 'Manbiki Kazoku' or 'Shoplifters'.

Back to the topic: Good that you mentioned the G 20 which has not the same status as the G 7 yet.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@Netgrump: So, South Korea should replace Italy in G7, based on forecasts? Exactly, which forecasts? Italy is the 8th biggest economy in the world, South Korea isn't even in the top 10, as I already said. How can you know IF and when South Korea will take Italy place? Plus, you are not considering so many aspects about Italy as a Western Country of old industrialization, unlike South Korea that is a relatively recent developed Country. For example we have free healthcare, and we have amazing trade unions that protect workers rights (I doubt in South Korea workers are protected as in any European Country, Italy included). Our welfare state is way more developed than in South Korea for sure. I don't know why you think South Korea government is so better than Italy government, when South Korean politicians are as much as corrupted like Italian politicians. And you can't know if South Korea will continue to grow fast, or, like any developed Country, to some point it will stop.

Italy is also a multicultural Country, we have some millions of foreigners living in our Country, our democracy is way older than South Korean democracy.

Since you think South Korea deserves a place in G7 so much, you can let it take the place of Canada, whose economy is also smaller than Italy's economy.

Honestly, I didn't get the purpose of your attack towards Italy in favor of South Korea. :)

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Oh, did you say you are from North Europe? Now everything is clear. :) The usual superiority complex of North European Countries vs South European Countries, to the extent that you would support a random Asian Country where welfare state is basically nonexistent and with one of the highest rates of suicide in the world because of their inhuman style of life, rather than an old European democracy where people fought for decades for workers being treated like human beings, rather than objects. :)

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Alex80

Agree, 1000%.

Some seem to think that China and Korea will grow forever, whilst places like Japan and Italy will stagnate for eternity!!!

I’m also baffled that he wants Italy out in favour of Korea, yet happy for useless Canada to stay put.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Peeping_Tom: China and South Korea were still third world Countries in the 80s, when Countries like Italy and Japan were in their best years. It's obvious today they are still growing, but they are also already showing the same symptoms that brought stagnation in the old industrialized Countries, like a rapid aging population. Most of old industrialized Countries lived their best years during the 80s/90s and not after 2000, so it's stupid to criticize only Italy. Also the US, Germany, France, UK, etc., are not growing at the same pace of emerging Countries or young developed Countries like South Korea.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Mmmm, text interpretation is not your strongest point. So you see a hypothetic suggestion as an 'attack' on your homeland, now that's amusing !

The G7 is about economy and when I mentioned S-Korea in favour of Old Italy I'm talking about economic figures so I took some out. Economy is not only about the size of the GDP but also about development and education. China is despite being the second economy based on GDP [nominal] still a development country with millions of people still living and working between pigs and chickens. It's not about having a longer history of being developed versus a short history, it's about the current situation and what we can expect in the near future.

You mention free healthcare [an indicator] but the quality is not so good. Italy may have one highest figures on longevity but what counts is the healthy years after the age of 65.

https://www.oecd.org/italy/Health-at-a-Glance-2015-Key-Findings-ITALY.pdf

Economy is not about suicide rates or democracy but about indicators in relation to that economy. Some may see suicide as the side effect of a bad economy or harsh working conditions but Belgium has a relatively stable economy with high suicide levels compared to Italy despite high unemployment and low growth. There's more to say about the causes of suicide.

The history of democracy in Italy is short compared to other European nations and populism is deep rooted. Fascism was also after WW2 alive and kicking.

I miss a line about your new populist government or should we call it fascist light ?

Don't come up how multicultural Italy is as the situation is like that Italian workers are maybe treated as human beings but that many of those millions of foreigners and refugees are treated like animals in Italian sweatshops and olive groves. And most of your compatriots want to get rid of them too isn't it?

I'm working for a multinational with production facilities in Italy and I know that labor conditions are often backward compared to northern countries despite the same EU legislation. While there's communication and consultation between workers and management in the northern countries in cooperation with unions and works councils, there's the confrontation model conducted by unions in France, Italy or Spain, almost never leading to real break throughs.

Anyhow, in your 'rage' you missed my lines about Italian culture and football after my 'attack' but your post will not effect my opinion about the quality of it.

I could go on about corruption [an indicator] or the fact that in some Italian regions the State has no say, but that's too easy and has nothing to do with our topic: the G7.

You also missed my quoting of the Italian historian Orsina. It seems that I've to agree on his quote :

'Now Italy is a sad, depressive country'

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

@Netgrump: your "suggestion", that doesn't make any sense at all, is obviously an attack to Italy because you dislike the result of our last elections. Italian citizens have the RIGHT to vote who they want, and the current government has NOTHING to do with any fascism, so please don't bring this terrible excuse. Italy is a "sad and depressive Country"? Really? Anyway you disregard that South Korea has one of the highest rate of suicides in the world, while Italy one of the lowest. Italy treats badly the migrants? In your imagination, we are making what we can to deal with MASS MIGRATION that will never happen in a Country like South Korea, and that in Italy is so huge and dramatic because all the other European Countries closed their borders and let Italy alone. How convenient is for the other European Countries the current law, that basically says that the first Country where the migrants arrive, must host them? It's DAMN obvious that first Country will be Italy, considering our geographic position. You have so many prejudices against Italy, but you don't know this Country at all. You bring random data about South Korea, that according to some economic standards is still considered only an EMERGING Country, but there's not any actual evidence to say that it should replace Italy in the G7.

Italy economy is bigger. Our GDP pro capite is bigger. Our welfare state is better. AND we are not as much as xenophobic like South Korea, just because we are trying to make the other European Countries share the burders of a mass immigration from Africa that doesn't know any end. Your bias vs Italy is evident and it's because of the result of our elections. Sorry, we are still a democracy and we decide who to vote, not the Northern Europe.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Netgrump: I am not against the EU as ideal project. But I am against THIS EU that evidently, needs to change, or you wouldn't see events like Brexit and populism growing up everywhere. The EU can't disregard the voice of people.

Look at the US. I don't like Trump at all, and I believe its politics is bad in so many ways. But if millions of Americans voted for him, probably it's because the earlier governments were doing something really bad as well. So, people tried to change, and no matter what we think, Americans have the RIGHT to vote whatever they want. Every Country will pay the consequences of its own choices, this is for sure. The future is really ambiguous for any Country in the world, in this period of global crisis. But there's something that must be respected absolutely, and it's the choice of the citizens in a democracy, to be called democracy. The current Italian government was voted by Italian citizens, there wasn't any March on Rome. So, please, keep any allusions to fascism for yourself.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Everybody knows the "national security" argument is a smoke screen simply because under the WTO America would have no legs to stand on regarding these tariffs if they were simply applied them in an attempt to pressure other countries to offer the U.S more favorable trade terms or buy more American goods. National security gives them legs to stand on, even if its a load of rubbish in all instances other than China in these disputes.

U.S. Tariffs are some of the lowest in the world.

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/03/22/u-s-tariffs-are-among-the-lowest-in-the-world-and-in-the-nations-history/

A conveniently overlooked set of numbers by most people. The U.S is evil is enough for many.

In terms of the G7 argument, shouldn't all the Italy, Germany, France etc just be represented by one place called the E.U, that is, until Italy bring the whole thing crushing down.

I personally think the Euro does many E.U states a great deal of disservice. Italy should leave common currency, although I admit I know that prospect is very complex and since I'm not European, I'm not even sure if its possible while Italy is still in the E.U.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Matt Hartwell: Italy is the third biggest economy in the EU. We are not speaking about a small economy like Greece. If Italy let the Euro, this would have huge consequences for the whole EU. This is why Northern European Countries are so scary and critical about our last elections. I am not saying Italy is perfect, we know the incompetence and the flaws of our politicians. But Northern European Countries don't know their OWN flaws, because yeah, they think to be perfect. Oettinger told "Markets will teach the Italians how to vote". Seriously? Later he apologized, but this shows euro bureaucrats mindset. Citizens should be controlled by the markets. Really? No, thanks. The past 4 Italian PD governments WEREN'T voted by the citizens. They were imposed on us. Is this democracy? People got tired of PD because it accepted everything the EU was asking to Italy. Migration crisis is really what made the Italians so desperate. We hope this time the EU will listen to our voice. But as you can see, apparently these legitimate requests are enough to induce some people from North Europe like Netgrump to "suggest" to replace Italy in G7 with South Korea. This gives you a hint about how "nice", balanced and fair is this EU.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

interest rate **

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Italy is the 4th largest economy in the EU.

Germany

United Kingdom

France

Italy
0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Netgrump: do you want the bad, fascist Italy let the G7, in favour of South Korea? Okay, perfect. I am okay with it. But South Korea must accept the thousands of African migrants that on daily basis arrive to Italy. All of them, unconditionally, like Italy is doing. Building up free houses only for them, like implied by the SPRAR project, satisfying their daily needs for free, and so on. It's so funny to call Italy xenophobic, while you are supporting one of the actually most xenophobic Countries in the world! Well, I am sure South Koreans will be so happy to accept thousands of Africans into their Country every day, and these Africans will find in South Korea a better environment than Italy. Sure.

And please, stop linking random articles from Anglosaxon press. Reality isn't one sided.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Zichi: you missed Brexit? It's an ongoing process, but the British already decided.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Plus, the British never adopted Euro.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Netgrump: I just saw your link to a YouTube video...are you even kidding? Do you think CasaPound won the elections? For heaven's sake.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Again, read and see things in context. Of course CasaPound didn't won the elections but the Lega did so read about extreme right ties with that party.

So it started with this: Personally I would prefer South Korea above Italy to mention something.

First it's a personal opinion based on economic indicators and a 'debat' should go about those indicators and not about hurt pride. Stick to the context, Alex80, no more no less :)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Netgrump: well, you weren't exactly polite with me, saying I am in "rage" (I am just supporting my reasons) and suggesting me to drink a couple of Espresso (despite your racist generalization, I don't like coffee so much, sorry). Besides your sarcastic remarks about my nationality, you implied more times my understanding skills are limited. I never approached you in this discussion in the same way you did with me. Lega Nord isn't an extreme far right party, and this government isn't fascist, no matter like you want to force this narrative. Your "parameters" to consider South Korea economically and socially better than Italy are completely arbitrary and subjective, and I see also a lot of incoherence in your words, since you call Italy xenophobic, when South Korea laws about immigration are between the stricter in the world, and like Japan, it praises itself to be a "homogeneous Country". Anyway, you are free to have your opinion, no problem. I am free to have mine, and to disagree with you, in a polite and respectful way. It's not about "hurt pride". You are mocking me again.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Alex80 and Netgrump, please do not address each other any further on this thread since you are just bickering.

That's what the Trump administration does -- make enemies.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Let's show Donald Trump up! EVERYONE should drop their tariffs and DARE the Donald to drop HIS! THAT'LL show him!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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