In a stunning show of childish petulance, the White House has announced that President Trump will be pulling out of the G-7 economic summit early, departing on early Saturday morning instead of attending the scheduled meetings on fighting climate change, clean energy, and cleaning up the oceans.
Instead of completing the meetings, he will be traveling directly to Singapore to “prepare” for his upcoming June 12 denuclearization summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and South Korea’s Moon Jae-in.
But seeing as the president boasted earlier today about how he doesn’t need to prepare for the summit and the fact that the president is on record musing about how to get in a couple rounds of golf while he’s there, it’s pretty clear that something else is afoot here.
The president spent the entire day feuding with some of our closest allies in the Group of 7 (Germany, France, Canada, the UK, Japan, Italy, and the United States), sparring with Canada’s Justin Trudeau and France’s Emmanuel Macron over the harsh tariffs that the President impulsively threw at the European Union in a performative effort to show support for American businesses.
But the president is quickly discovering that the leaders of major world powers cannot be bullied or bribed into submission like the sleazy New York lawyers he’s used to dealing with, as Macron delivered a searing public rebuke to the president and is showing no signs of backing down.
The American President may not mind being isolated, but neither do we mind signing a 6 country agreement if need be. Because these 6 countries represent values, they represent an economic market which has the weight of history behind it and which is now a true international force https://t.co/UA86fcjozs
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) June 7, 2018
In response, Trump took to Twitter to passive-aggressively complain about how the trade surplus between the United States and the EU is unfair and that somehow this is their fault.
Please tell Prime Minister Trudeau and President Macron that they are charging the U.S. massive tariffs and create non-monetary barriers. The EU trade surplus with the U.S. is $151 Billion, and Canada keeps our farmers and others out. Look forward to seeing them tomorrow.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 7, 2018
It’s fairly clear at this point that the president has only the most cursory understanding of international economics but does have a very good understanding of how to put on a superficial show to prove to his base that he’s somehow fulfilling his promise to stand up for American businesses against free trade, which then…might somehow stop the hemorrhaging of jobs overseas and the refusal of multi-billion dollar corporations to pay their workers a living wage?
To depart the summit early because he’s not getting along with the other students and because he doesn’t like the schedule is behavior more fitting of a spoiled middle schooler at summer camp rather than the leader of one of the world’s superpowers.