The G7 summit in Canada ends Saturday in final negotiations to save appearances or even reduce the fractures opened by Donald Trump, who will already have the head at his next meeting with Kim Jong Un.
Until the end, the American, Canadian, French, German, Italian, British and Japanese delegations will try to give birth to a joint communiqué concluding two days of debates in La Malbaie, a small tourist town overlooking the majestic Saint-Laurent in Quebec .
The main point of contention, trade obviously, at this first meeting of the G7 after the entry into force of US taxes on imported steel and aluminum.
Europeans have also quickly buried the idea, proposed by Donald Trump, of a possible return of Russia within the group from which it was excluded in 2014 after the annexation of Crimea. “A return of Russia in the G7 format is not possible until we see substantial progress in relation to the Ukrainian problem,” said Angela Merkel.
Preceded by furious tweets about the “unjust” agreements that plague American trade, Donald Trump has done well for the family photo and has cracked some kindness for his host, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and for the president Frenchman Emmanuel Macron, his “friend”.
But to believe two sources of the negotiations, everyone has camped on his positions at the main meeting of work, the Europeans trying to set arguments against a “long litany of recriminations” of the American president.
A “rough” but perhaps “salutary” moment to “burst the abscess”, wanted to believe a French source.
It is difficult, however, to imagine a “common communique” in the great tradition of the G7 meetings, listing the good intentions of the world’s powerful in economic, diplomatic and environmental matters.
The idea of Merkel
If Donald Trump himself has said he believes the release of such a communiqué, members of delegations rather evoke a compromise.
This would concretely take the form of a signed seven-handed text for certain consensual parties, and reserving certain separate paragraphs to the dissenting opinion of the United States on the most sensitive points: trade, but also agreements on Iran and the climate, of which Donald Trump has slammed the door.
Another hypothesis would be the publication of a “statement” signed by the only Canadian presidency of the G7 and the act of disagreement – a difference as important for diplomats as it is subtle for the general public.
The German Chancellor, who has had an aside with the American billionaire, tried to calm the minds on the trade by proposing according to a French source to open a bilateral dialogue between the United States and the European Union.
According to this source, it intends to defend the idea of a “shared evaluation mechanism” between Americans and Europeans “to prevent any other crisis in a sector other than steel and aluminum”, which do not weigh very heavy in transatlantic trade.
Berlin dreads more than anything an American offensive against the powerful German automobile industry.
In an article published Thursday by the New York Times, Donald Trump’s trade adviser, Peter Navarro, is cackling the too heavy taxes imposed on American car exports to Europe: “No wonder that Germans are selling us three vehicles for every American car exported to Germany. ”
Final communiqué or not, the G7 will lead Saturday various working sessions, for example on the climate, before concluding in the afternoon by the press conferences of the Heads of State and Government.
Except Donald Trump: last arrived in Quebec Friday morning, he will be the first to leave Saturday after only twenty-four hours.
The US president has an appointment Tuesday with Kim Jong Un in Singapore. Donald Trump has never hidden that this historic summit on the “denuclearization” of North Korea interested him much more than the discussions with the old allies of the United States.