Saturday, 20 October, 2018

Trump and Merkel: A study in contrasting G7 images

Photo shared by Angela Merkel hints at tension at G7 This picture from G7 summit 'speaks a thousand words' on global power dynamics
Ellis Copeland | 12 June, 2018, 19:46

On Saturday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had a fallout with Trump when he held a press conference after the latter departed Quebec to attend the North Korea summit in Singapore.

After President Trump's decision to impose a 25 percent tariff on steel and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imported from the E.U., Merkel warned the E.U. would be following Canada's lead, moving forward with countermeasures against the U.S.

"The other leaders presented their numbers and Trump presented his". While many said that the picture sums up Trump's time at G-7, several others called it a "power dynamic".

Doctored images showed the United States president as a petulant child - including memes with Trump overturning a bowl of noodles on his head or clutching a teddy bear as Merkel sternly looks on.

Despite tensions over Trump's intended trade tariffs the United States and its G7 allies had put on an apparent show of unity at the end of the tense summit.

"In a culture of open discussion, it's possible that we don't agree on all points", Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters on Friday. National Security Adviser John Bolton and other aides also look on what appears to be a tense moment.

Officials from Justin Trudeau's team also shared an image of the Canadian PM and summit host leader being presented with work by Prime Minister Theresa May, Mr Macron and Mrs Merkel, while an uninterested Mr Trump stares into space.

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"As Canadians, we are polite, we're reasonable, but also we will not be pushed around", Trudeau said.

Before he left the summit early to travel to Singapore to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Trump suggested Russian Federation should be allowed back in the trade group.

On Saturday, Trump reiterated his belief that the U.S.is being taken advantage of by its trading partners and vowed to put a stop to it.

Trump left the meeting between the world's leading industrialized countries with a warning to USA allies, saying that if they don't remove trade barriers with the US then they will face consequences.

Merkel did not know Trump planned to do this and only found out he pulled out from the "arduously negotiated" declaration while she was returning from the summit.

His comment sparked a new diplomatic spat between Trudeau and the Trump administration and led Merkel to criticize the USA president's handling of the matter.

After Trump left the summit, tensions between him and the rest of the G7 continued to escalate.

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