Quebec summit: G7 minus one?

Quebec summit: G7 minus one?

The 44th meeting of the G7 group of the world’s seven richest countries is taking place deep in Quebec in eastern Canada today.

The worthy agenda of gender equality and economic prosperity proposed by the host, the Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, is already deep in the shadow of an unprecedented series of rows among the G7 members.

The combined pressure of six – France, Germany, the UK, Japan, Canada and Italy – to persuade US President Donald Trump either to stick with the Iran nuclear deal or to reconsider his determination to impose tariff barriers on steel and aluminium imports has so far failed.

From steel tariffs to Iran sanctions and climate change, the U.S. president will find himself isolated from other Group of Seven leaders at the summit in Quebec. The meetings on Friday and Saturday will be the first opportunity for America’s closest allies to express their frustration in face-to-face meetings with Trump after he imposed steel and aluminum tariffs last week, the Guardian reported.

French President Emmanuel Macron has warned that he will not sign the summit’s traditional joint statement unless progress is made on tariffs and other contentious issues, an official in his office said. Macron has concluded that other G-7 leaders must stand up to the US president, Bloomberg reported.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is promising to challenge Trump on the environment, and European leaders will be able to press their request for exempting some EU companies from Washington’s revival of Iranian economic sanctions.

On Iran, the battle now is to protect EU companies from US sanctions. The UK, France and Germany have signed a joint letter demanding that European companies are spared from US sanctions imposed on Iran after Trump’s decision to pull out of the nuclear agreement with Tehran known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).