G7 Summit: I Don’t Need Promotion – Trump

US President Donald Trump speaks during a cabinet meeting at the White House October 21, 2019, in Washington, DC. Brendan Smialowski / AFP

 

President Donald Trump on Monday said his much-criticized attempt to stage the G7 at one of his golf courses was not intended to promote his business brand, arguing he’s too famous to “need promotion.”

“They say, ‘Oh, you get promotion.’ You don’t think I get enough promotion? I get more promotion than any human being that’s ever lived,” Trump said at a meeting of his cabinet in the White House. “I don’t need promotion.”

Trump’s latest defense of the now-scrapped plan to hold the international summit at his National Doral resort in Florida next year follows withering criticism.

Opponents say the bid smacked of corruption while even figures in the loyal Republican party baulked at the optics of the real estate tycoon holding the huge diplomatic event at his own hotel.

Trump on Saturday tweeted that he was pulling the idea and would consider other sites, including the presidential retreat of Camp David, near Washington, DC.

He has previously come under fire for the use of his golf resorts by White House staff and traveling members of the military, as well as his hiring of his daughter and son-in-law in senior White House advisory positions.

But Trump lashed out at accusations of corruption.

He noted that he gives away his presidential salary of about $450,000 and insisted that being president has personally cost him between $2-$5 billion in lost business revenues — a calculation that has not been independently tested.

“I don’t care. If you’re rich, it doesn’t matter,” Trump said. “I’m doing this for the country.”

“I’m very good at real estate, very, very good, much better than you even understand,” he boasted, adding that he’d gone above and beyond ethics requirements by handing legal control of his business to his children.

“I didn’t have to do that. I’m under no obligation to do it. I don’t know if you know it, George Washington, he ran his business simultaneously while he was president,” Trump said.

“George Washington was actually considered a very rich man at the time. But they ran their businesses. George Washington, they say, had two desks — he had a presidential desk and a business desk.”

The G7 at the Doral would have been “the greatest G7 ever,” he said. At a different location, “I don’t think it will be as exciting.”

AFP

G7 Pledges Millions To Fight Amazon Fires

Handout aerial picture released by Greenpeace showing fire raging in the forest in the municipality of Candeias do Jamari, close to Porto Velho in Rondonia State, in the Amazon basin in northwestern Brazil, on August 24, 2019.  PHOTO: Victor MORIYAMA / GREENPEACE / AFP

 

The G7 will give $20 million (18 million euros) to send firefighting planes to tackle the blazes engulfing parts of the Amazon, the presidents of France and Chile said Monday.

“We must respond to the call of the forest which is burning today in the Amazon,” France’s Emmanuel Macron said as President Sebastian Pinera of Chile, a guest of the G7, underlined that “countries of the Amazon are in dire need of fire brigades and water bomber planes.”

Nearly 80,000 forest fires have been detected in Brazil since the beginning of the year — just over half of them in the massive Amazon basin.

Macron had declared the situation an “international crisis” and made it a priority of the summit of the G7, which comprises Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States.

G7 leaders gathered in Biarritz held talks on the many environmental challenges facing planet Earth, with a focus on the record number of fires destroying swathes of the Amazon.

Macron has threatened to block a huge new trade deal between the EU and Latin America unless Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, a climate change sceptic, takes serious steps to protect the fast-shrinking forest from logging and mining.

Bolsonaro lashed out at the French leader over his criticism and suggested NGOs could be setting the fires to embarrass him — without giving any evidence to back the claim.

But at the weekend, he finally caved in to international pressure to save a region crucial for maintaining a stable global climate, deploying two aircraft to douse fires and authorising the army to help tackle the blazes.

 ‘Universal heritage’

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced his country would send a water bomber plane to fight the Amazon blazes and contribute some $15 million to the effort.

The G7 also agreed to support a reforestation plan to be unveiled in September, the leaders said.

Brazil would have to agree to any reforestation plan, as would indigenous communities living in the world’s biggest rainforest.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said new planting was needed “to preserve this universal heritage, which is absolutely essential for the well-being of the world’s population.”

He said the issue would be discussed during the UN General Assembly in New York in September.

Macron told France 2 it was hoped “at least 30 million” dollars could be raised for the project.

On Monday evening, the French leader met Brazilian indigenous chief Raoni Metuktire, who said he had asked Macron to “help us preserve our lands.”

“The forests and lands of Brazil help the entire planet live,” said the chief, an advocate for indigenous rights.

Greenpeace executive director Jennifer Morgan welcomed the G7 aid, but said the club must also “stop fuelling the destruction of the Amazon through the import of agricultural products associated with deforestation and soil degradation.”

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised 10 million pounds ($12 million) for Amazon reforestation projects, while luxury fashion giant LVMH pledged 10 million euros.

AFP

Britain Hopes U.S. Will Honour Commitments On Trade

G7 leaders pose for the family photo during the G7 Summit on June 8, 2018 in La Malbaie, Canada. 
POOL / AFP

 

Britain on Monday urged the United States to honour free-trade commitments made at the G7 summit even after US President Donald Trump rejected a joint communique in a bitter spat over tariffs.

“The communique was agreed by all the parties who attended the G7 and we fully intend to honour it,” the spokesman said.

“We would hope that the US will similarly honour the commitments that they have made,” he said, speaking before a parliamentary statement on the summit by Prime Minister Theresa May.

May told MPs that it had been “a difficult summit with, at times, some very candid discussions”, adding that there had been “strong debate and disagreement on some issues”.

In a pointed criticism of Trump’s policy, May said that the most effective way of reaping the benefits of globalisation was through multilateral action, adding: “It cannot be done by taking unilateral action against your partners”.

“As long-standing allies, we do not make progress by ignoring each others’ concerns but rather by addressing them together,” she said.

The summit in Canada was deeply divisive and ended with a renewed threat of trade war on Saturday after Trump rejected an attempt to write a consensus statement and bitterly insulted the Canadian host.

The joint communique that was thrashed out over two days of negotiations vowed that members would reform multilateral oversight of commerce through the World Trade Organization (WTO) and seek to cut tariffs.

“We commit to modernize the WTO to make it more fair as soon as possible. We strive to reduce tariff barriers, non-tariff barriers and subsidies,” it said, reflecting the typical language of decades of G7 statements.

Trump had already said he would not hesitate to shut countries out of the US market if they retaliate to steep tariffs he has imposed on steel and aluminium imports.

The joint communique was published online before Trump tweeted his disapproval after comments made by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the new trade tariffs.

AFP

Trump Lashes Out At US Allies In Twitter Rant

Trump Thanks North Korea For 'Gracious' Pledge To Destroy Nuclear Site
US President Donald Trump. PHOTO: NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP

 

President Donald Trump lashed out at US allies on Monday, in a Twitter rant, focusing on trade following a contentious G7 summit of economic powers in Canada, at the weekend.

“Fair Trade is now to be called Fool Trade if it is not Reciprocal,” Trump tweeted, as he criticised Canadian tariffs on imports of US milk.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau then “acts hurt when called out!” Trump wrote.

Trump pulled out of endorsing a joint communique after the G7 meet finished on Saturday with the US president accusing Trudeau, the summit’s chairman, of dishonesty.

His Twitter rant on Monday continued: “Why should I, as President of the United States, allow countries to continue to make Massive Trade Surpluses, as they have for decades, while our Farmers, Workers & Taxpayers have such a big and unfair price to pay? Not fair to the PEOPLE of America!”

Adding to the US trade deficit is “the fact that the U.S. pays close to the entire cost of NATO-protecting many of these same countries that rip us off on Trade (they pay only a fraction of the cost-and laugh!).”

He said the European Union “should pay much more for Military!”

According to Trump, Germany “pays 1% (slowly) of GDP towards NATO, while we pay 4% of a MUCH larger GDP. Does anybody believe that makes sense? We protect Europe (which is good) at great financial loss, and then get unfairly clobbered on Trade. Change is coming!”

Figures that Trump cites in his tweets have often been found to be incorrect or misleading.

He concluded: “Sorry, we cannot let our friends, or enemies, take advantage of us on Trade anymore. We must put the American worker first!”

Almost as an afterthought, Trump — currently in Singapore for a summit with North Korean leader Kum Jong Un — tweeted: “Great to be in Singapore, excitement in the air!”

AFP

Osinbajo Assures G7 Of Africa’s Collaborations In Security, Others

Osinbajo Assures G7 Of Africa's Collaborations In Security, OthersNigeria’s Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has assured the G7 of Africa’s increasing collaborations as never seen before in security, trade, counter-terrorism and democracy.

Speaking on the sidelines of the just concluded summit in Italy, the Acting President described as fruitful, stressing that Nigeria is looking to ensure that the promises made are kept.

He also held discussion with the world leaders on possible partnership in the areas of technology, agriculture and sustainable energy.

Professor Osinbajo told Channels Television that it was a great opportunity to meet with the G7 countries to exchange ideas on what to do as nations in Africa going forward.

“The major issues discussed were the possibilities that innovation offers for development in Africa and indeed all over the world.

“But I think that we were particularly concerned with the collaborations that are possible with the G7 countries, especially with respect to technology in agriculture, technology in some of the work that we’ve been doing in social investments, payment systems and environment, especially the use of renewable energy.

“And we talked extensively also about security and about some of the very great partnerships that have been formed with the U.S., Italy, Germany, France and the UK.

“In particular, our joint-intelligence unit which is located in Abuja, and we had an opportunity to discuss a bit of detail about how that has worked very well and some of the challenges we expect to see going forward,” he explained.

The Acting President commended the G7 countries for their support in the fight against Boko Haram insurgency, especially the United States, France and the UK as effective partners in the Lake Chad basin.

Migrant Crisis: UK Set To Send Second Warship To Libya

David Cameron, Migrant Crisis, LibyaThe UK has announced that it will send another warship to the Mediterranean to help tackle people-smuggling and movements of arms in and out of Libya.

Prime Minister, David Cameron told the G7 summit in Japan that the UK is ready to take an “active leadership role” in helping Libya deal with trafficking.

The UK currently has one survey vessel, HMS Enterprise, operating in the area. But for the UK to send another warship, the EU will need to extend the mandate of its current naval operation.

UK officials at this week’s meeting of G7 industrialised nations say they will seek UN approval so that the new warship can also seize boats suspected of smuggling arms to the Islamic State in Libya.