Tensions High at G7 Summit

This year’s meeting of world leaders is fraught with simmering feuds and sluggish economies.

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President Donald J. Trump joins G7 Leaders for dinner Saturday evening Aug. 24, 2019, at the Biarritz Lighthouse in Biarritz, France. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

Though American liberals may be stunned to learn it, at this year’s G7 Summit, U.S. President Donald Trump is one of the most popular leaders attending. Only Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe enjoys higher popularity according to polling data.

As the leaders of the some of the world’s biggest economies gather in Biarritz, France, the rest of the world is watching nervously.

Some of the world’s wealthiest and most influential nations are beset by problems and situations. Everything from immigration to the environment seems to be on fire as never before.

Just like the Amazon Rainforest.

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President Donald J. Trump speaks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the G7 Leaders’ Dinner Saturday evening Aug. 24, 2019, at the Biarritz Lighthouse in Biarritz, France. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

But just like the blaze in the Amazon, things aren’t perhaps as bad as they appear. Or rather, things aren’t as bad as they are made to appear. According to NASA, the Amazon is not burning at an unprecedented rate.

But we should all still stop eating so much beef.

It takes a great deal of farmland to produce crops enough to feed cattle. In the Amazonian Rainforest, “farmland” can only be achieved through clear-cut logging, with managed fires being the fastest and most effective way to clear a grove.

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President Donald J. Trump speaks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the G7 Leaders’ Dinner Saturday evening Aug. 24, 2019, at the Biarritz Lighthouse in Biarritz, France. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

It’s true that trade tensions between the U.S. and China are threatening economies left, right, and center, not least of which is that of China and the U.S.

China is isolationist heart, as famously intoned in by Emperor Qinglong in a 1793 letter to King George: “China’s glorious kingdom possesses all things in abundance…we have no need to import the manufactures of outside barbarians.”

But in 2019, Chinese President Xi Jinping would have a very difficult time extricating the Chinese economy from the global one. Indeed, if it were even possible.

China’s economy is, if nothing else, a great machine that harnesses the power of cheap, plentiful labor and a low-regulatory environment to produce massive amounts of goods to sell to…the U.S. and other Western nations.

Whether Donald Trump is the man to bring Jinping to the table is another matter. There is little question in the world business community that it is long past time China took responsibility for unfair trade practices and corporate espionage.

Xi Jinping, for his part, may instead try to out-wait Trump, convinced, and probably right, that he would get a friendlier shake from Trump’s successor.

Russia is another troublesome issue that remains resolved at this year’s G7- which erstwhile was the G8 before Russia was excluded.

Trump seems to be in favor of restoring Russia to the partnership; Russia is certainly a major player in the global marketplace and keeping Putin at a distance hasn’t improved Russian relations with its trading partners and allies in the west.

With the future of the European Union deeply uncertain, and with the U.S. economy showing signs of slowing, a closer relationship between Russian and other world leaders might set an important precedent.

Love him or hate him, American voters should be rooting for Trump to prevail in talks with China over trade. And whatever sentiments exist on the left towards Russia, the last vestiges of Russian collusion, should be laid to rest in interest of the one thing at the center of everything world leaders will discuss at this year’s meeting:

World peace.

(contributing writer, Brooke Bell)

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