In a volley of tweets the US president, who is in Singapore to meet the North Korean leader, said: "Fair trade is now to be called fool trade if it is not reciprocal. Mr Trump went on to lambast fellow members of NATO for paying disproportionately less than the US to maintain the Western alliance.
Sputnik spoke to Binoy Kampmark Senior Lecturer in the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology about what this could mean for the future of the G7.
Sputnik: What do you make of the fallout from the latest G7?
Binoy Kampmark: A lot of it was in the making for some time because the tensions between the respective powers, most notably Mr Trump and the rest of the crew was building up in terms of tariffs and trade issues such as readmitting Russia to the G family as it were as one of the fundamental things. This was clear that in the lead up and this was Trump’s strategy it would seem to disrupt in one forum and to advance in another. So whilst he’s busy in Singapore which is where he is at the moment regarding the North Korea summit, he is disrupting in another forum like the G7.
Sputnik: Is there any way back in terms of easing the tensions around tariffs or could we see this split the G7?
Binoy Kampmark: this is deeply distressing for the respective members, especially this particular skirmish between Justin Trudeau of Canada and Trump’s perspective as well as Angela Merkel has said this is not acceptable and it has to move beyond. The reality is the biggest player in the room is the United States and that’s one of the reasons why Donald Trump can get away with a lot of this. The issue is to wait and see, it’s not that it’s irreparable, in the 1980’s regarding the matters of a trade war in the mid 1980’s especially this did characterise relations between the similar members that we associate with the G7.
Sputnik: How will this war of words have on the relationship between the leaders?
Binoy Kampmark: Not very much I’m afraid, I think the reality is there is a strange parallel setting to be found between the respective economies. It has to be said that in many ways the tariff regime has been functioning before and simply hasn’t been spoken about. For example, be it China on the one hand, be it United States on the other and be it Europe and the EU on the other, tariffs have been slammed and products fall, depending on interests and so on.The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.