European Council President Donald Tusk set up the EU’s position ahead of the G7 summit on Saturday, making it clear that the bloc opposed many of the positions put forward by US President Donald Trump. In a news conference before the start of the summit, Tusk warned the American president that Europe didn’t share his views on issues ranging from Iran to trade to Russia.
Group of Seven leaders are meeting in Biarritz, France, Saturday amid mounting tensions over trade, climate and threats to the global economy.
‘Trade wars will lead to recessions’ and ‘trade wars among G-7 members will lead to an eroding of the already weakened trust among us,’ Tusk said.
He said Trump’s rejection of the nuclear deal with Iran ‘hasn’t brought about any positive results’ and the move played into the hands of the Iranian regime as well as Russia and China. The EU will push once again for consensus on the Iran agreement, Tusk added.
Russia won’t be invited back in the G-7 fold, Tusk said, in a direct rebuff to Trump. He recalled the US leader’s suggestion that Russia snatching Crimea from Ukraine was acceptable. ‘Under no condition can we agree on this logic,’ Tusk said, adding provocatively that he’d like to see Ukraine invited to a G-7 summit rather than Russia. Next year’s meeting will be hosted by Trump in the US.
The EU will “respond in kind” if Trump announces tariffs on French beverages, Tusk said at his press conference ahead of the talks which begin Saturday evening.
Trump has threatened tariffs on wine in retaliation for a French digital tax that affects US internet giants, casting the French as the aggressors. But Tusk suggested the EU will see tax and tariffs as separate issues.
“France can count on our loyalty,” Tusk said.
Trump mused at a recent fund-raiser about a 100 per cent tariff on French wine, though it’s not clear how serious he was.
Tusk also said he would meet Britain’s new prime minister on the sidelines of a G7 summit on Sunday and was ready to hear ideas on how to avoid a no-deal Brexit.
“Tomorrow I meet PM @BorisJohnson. I hope that he will not like to go down in history as ‘Mr. No Deal’”, Tusk tweeted. “The EU is ready to listen to operational, realistic ideas acceptable to all Member States including Ireland, if and when the UK government is ready to put them on the table.