Ludovic Marin / AP
President Trump arrived at the annual G7 Summit in France. The slowing global economy and continuing trade war with China shaped his visit, and the meeting revealed a potentially profound gap between the US and other countries over trade and climate change.
Shortly before Trump left Washington DC on Friday, Trump raised tariffs on Chinese imports and threatened to force all American companies to leave China. When Trump arrived in Biarritz early Saturday, he said via Twitter that he had the right to do so.
Trump cited the International Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977 and wrote, "For any fake news reporter who has no idea what the law is in relation to the powers of the President, China, etc., try the Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977. Case Completed! "
For all fake news reporters who have no idea what the law is about the presidential powers, China, etc., look at the 1977 Emergency Economic Powers Act. Case closed!
– Donald J. Trump August 24, 2019
Trump has previously threatened to apply the same law to impose duties on Mexican goods. Increasing trade tensions with China are evident in Trump's visit to France, where he will meet with leaders of the world's major economies. G7 membership includes the US, Germany, France, Japan, Italy, Canada and the United Kingdom.
On Friday, before Trump left for France, he also threatened to levy levies on French wine. The threat stemmed from a French proposal to tax US technology companies.
Speaking to White House reporters, Trump said, "Honestly, I do not want France to go out and tax our companies … And if they do that … we'll tax their wine the way they do have never done before. "
On Saturday, Trump lunched with French President Emmanuel Macron, who said the two would discuss" a lot of crisis ". Right at the top of the agenda is the "global economic situation" and how "tensions can be eased and the situation in relation to trade improved".
Macron said the two would talk about Libya, Syria, Ukraine and North Korea and Iran, and climate change would be another "hot topic" on the table.
Trump said he expected lunch to go well. "Actually, we have a lot in common, Emmanuel and I. We've been friends for a long time, and every now and then we go in for a little bit – not very much, but we get along very well," said Trump.
After lunch, Trump tweeted, wrote Macron's name wrong, and added a link to a Twitter parody account for Macron: "Just had lunch with the French President
@EmanuelMacrone .Lots of good things Great weekend with other world leaders! "
Just had lunch with the French president @EmmanuelMacron . There are many good things happening in both countries. Great weekend with other world leaders!
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 24, 2019
The tweet was later corrected with the link to Macron's official Twitter account.
When Trump arrived in France, he said the group of Seven would achieve a lot this weekend, but what he calls the US "spit-out" with China might dominate his meetings. Global markets fell Friday after Trump's tweets over new tariffs on Chinese goods.
Saturday night, Trump will attend a dinner for leaders in a lighthouse overlooking Biarritz. The official talks begin on Sunday morning.