Don’t call us, we’ll call you. That is allegedly the tone of the attitude world leaders have taken against the Trump administration.
Usually the setting where an international comity of nations gathers to find common ground, a united front against issues of global importance, the 2017 Group of 20 nations summit seemed to – according to two European officials – unite instead in opposition to the world’s greatest superpower – the United States of America.
Under President Donald Trump, a leader who favors nationalism over pluralism and multiculturalism, the world has seen a growing gulf developing between the land of the free and the rest of the Western world.
Yesterday’s gathering of the Group of 20 (G-20) nations reportedly dealt with common challenges that face the global community, including climate change and free trade. Yet the tone of the event took a markedly different turn from last year’s meeting.
According to event coverage by the Washington Post, President Trump was the source of that change.
During Trump’s campaign for office, he proposed various policies that were not in line with traditional U.S. stratagems. Now that Trump sits in the Oval Office, those policies are being implemented, and G-20 members are reportedly taking a tough stance in light of Trump’s break with tradition.
The main concerns leaders were pondering allegedly centered around Trump’s cynical views about international trade. While the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, tried to put out small fires sprouting amongst delegates, she reiterated that “we need free but also fair trade.”
Merkel added that “the discussions are very difficult. I don’t want to talk around that.”
While Trump is considering an amendment to America’s steel policy, possibly to implement restrictions on imports, some have speculated that a transatlantic trade war could be a real prospect in the near future.
In response to Trump’s stance on steel trade, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said, “we will respond with countermeasures if need be, hoping that this is not actually necessary. We are prepared to take up arms if need be.”
Meanwhile, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called on leaders to respect the global economy by protecting “free and fair rules” that should be “maintained at the high level.”
Climate change was also a hot topic on the G-20 agenda, especially following Trump’s controversial decision to withdraw America from the Paris climate agreement.
Underscoring the tensions between Europe, Asia, and the Trump administration, the Pew Research Center recently released the results of a global poll showing that Trump’s worldwide approval rating sits at a mere 22 percent.
Nevertheless, despite a tone of discontent at the G-20 summit, the leader of the European Council, Donald Tusk, offered words of encouragement and support for President Donald Trump’s efforts to strengthen U.S. relations with organizations such as NATO.
“We have been waiting for a long time to hear these words from President Trump. But the real question is whether it was a one-time incident or a new policy.”
Trump’s support for NATO was expressed during a speech he delivered to Polish delegates at a meeting in Warsaw on Thursday. Donald Tusk used Trump’s own words to urge consistency in the American president’s policy towards NATO.
“President Trump said yesterday in Warsaw that words are easy but it is actions that matter. And the first test will be our meeting here in Hamburg.”
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was more optimistic about Trump’s performance at the G-20 summit, as he told reporters that the meetings were very positive.
“We’ve had very productive economic meetings. There’s been very substantive issues discussed.”
[Featured Image by Sean Gallup/Getty Images]