June 11, 2018

President Trump Exposes What G-7 Statements Are Worth

Major media are in full outrage mode after President Trump refused to sign the joint statement the Group of Seven ritualistically issued at the conclusion of its summit.

The pundits lost no time informing readers of their opinions (this is the end of world order), and spent no time informing readers of what the G-7 actually is or does.

Maybe it’s because they don’t know. For that they’d be forgiven, since no one else does either. Here’s something else no one knows: If we didn’t already have a G-7, why would we create it today?

Of the six founding members of the club, it could be argued that Japan and the United States are the only ones that still exist as fully independent nations. Italy, France, Germany and the United Kingdom have been subsumed by the European Union, the sovereignty-eating superstate that’s grabbed crucial powers away from Rome, Paris, Berlin and London. (Recognition of this reality prompted Britons to run for the Brexit.)

The G-7 talking shop began in 1975 so the Western industrial democracies could discuss the quadrupling of world oil prices and other economic unpleasantries of the Cold War era. (NATO remained the forum for military issues.) Canada, the smallest economy in the club, joined the following year.

For the first ten years of the G-7’s existence, no one outside official circles knew when they met or what they agreed to. Since then, the group’s work was largely devoted to managing the international monetary system, putting the squeeze on poor countries and, generally, making sure central bankers can sleep soundly.

With the end of the Cold War and the rise of China, India and the Asian tiger economies (none of whom belong to the G-7), the old club found itself a new mission as a make-work program for international bureaucrats and a cheerleader for a technocratic globally integrated economy.

G-7 working groups became experts at issuing blizzards of unenforceable, virtually meaningless declarations, long on important-sounding verbiage and short on substance.

The documents are stuffed with “We affirm … We reaffirm … We call for … We also call on … We welcome … we underline … We note the importance of … We also recognize … We will explore … We strive to … We will prioritize … we will promote…” All these formulations are found in the G-7 communique the U.S. did not sign.

Every communiqué is carefully crafted to ensure no member state is mandated to change a single law or policy.

Instead, G-7 members “share a fundamental commitment” to such good things as “inclusive, balanced, sustainable economic growth,” “eliminating poverty [or, alternatively, discrimination] in all its forms,” and “advancing gender equality and ending violence against girls and women.”

It wouldn’t take a supercomputer for these documents to write themselves.

Then, instead of flying employees to the world’s finest resorts to write unread and unreadable documents between catered meals, cocktail parties and passed hors d’oeuvres, governments could give the money directly to the poor and actually end poverty in all its forms everywhere.

Donald J. Trump has consistently exposed the mendacity that permeates political discourse, from the empty promises and canned talking points of the professional politicians to the institutional bias and overt opinion-mongering of the professional journalists who enable them.

Now, President Trump has revealed how G-7 summitry has devolved into mere mummery.

-- Curtis Ellis, Senior Policy Advisor for America First Policies

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