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MNI (London)
--U.S., Other Sherpas Push For G7 Reassurance As Global Economy Deteriorates
by David Thomas
     LONDON (MNI) - French President Emmanuel Macron is pushing for G7 leaders
to abandon their customary communique following their summit in Biarritz,
France, next week in a bid to try and avoid the embarrassing disputes over
wording which pitted U.S. President Donald Trump against the rest of the group's
leaders at last year's Charlevoix, Canada, gathering.
     But sources close to France and the EU say that some G7 sherpas, including
the U.S. itself, are pushing back, arguing that the deterioration of global
economic conditions is too serious for the G7 not to issue some kind of
'reassurance' statement about this part of the discussions, albeit if only a
summary of the talks to try and reassure markets.
     "It's important for some to show that we are at least discussing these
issues," one source close to the Sherpa preparations for the G7 said.
     Sources close to the French presidency characterise the new approach of the
G7's 2019 chair as a "pragmatic" one, given the recent embarrassing discords
over the G7 communique drafting process and the need to keep the U.S. "at the
table", while at the same time conceding that it is impossible to reflect many
of the differences of views between the U.S. and the rest of the G7 on big
policy themes, such as international aid and climate change.
     "It's a way of saying, 'let's just move on'," said one official, "but let's
keep the strategic dialogue going among ourselves and see what we can hang on
     "We still have strategic links with the U.S. and shared values, and we want
to have that discussion that promotes our values."
     Sherpas are due to meet next week ahead of the August 24 - 26 summit in
Biarritz, France, with one source saying that the meeting may "provide more
clarity" on whether and what kind of a text on the global economic situation and
the stance of G7 policymakers can and should be released.
     "Given the evolution of the global economy and the whole discussion on how
to support growth, on foreign exchange developments, on tariffs, ECB, other
central bank warnings on growth. All of this has to be discussed by G7 leaders
and some kind of text on this needs to be released," one source said.
     "We just need to show the outside world that we are discussing these
     Officials concede, however, that sharp differences of views between the
current US administration and European G7 member states on issues such as trade,
monetary policy and foreign exchange will make the customary agreed text
difficult to achieve.
     Reflection of the changing nature of the G7 agenda, with issues such as
reducing economic inequality, Africa and women's empowerment topics featuring
more strongly in the talks, which formerly focused on macroeconomic
developments. In addition, the involvement of multilateral agencies like the
IMF, World Bank, UN and WTO in the talks this time round, as well as a number of
leading non-government agencies, will make communique on those parts of the
discussions highly elusive.
--MNI London Bureau; tel: +44 203-586-2225; email:
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MNI London Bureau | +44 203-865-3812 |
MNI London Bureau | +44 203-865-3812 |