Trump Wants India To Be Part Of Expanded G-7

Trump Wants India To Be Part Of Expanded G-7

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has accepted President Trump’s invitation to attend the G-7 meet as a guest, and has also welcomed Trump’s proposal to include India in an expanded G-7.

The G-7 nations include the United States, Britain, France, Japan, Germany, Italy and Canada, and the European Union.

With the planned expansion, it’s unsure as to how the endgame is going to be. Trump is looking at “G-10 or G-11” with India, South Korea, Australia and Russia as additional members. The math is clear; it should become the G-11. Why G-10? Russia. It was kicked out of the group in 2014 (when G-8 became G-7) for annexing Crimea and it remains in the doghouse for most G-7 heads, who don’t share Trump’s enthusiasm for Russia.

But this uncertainty alone should not cast doubts on Trump’s plans for G-7 overhaul. Negotiators had looked at competing numbers for the 1997-99 expansion as well, but had settled on the smaller number to keep it manageable. India made it to that group.

The endgame is unclear, as it was then. Trump is looking at “G-10 or G-11” with India, South Korea, Australia and Russia as additional members. The math is clear; it should become the G-11. Why G-10? Russia. It was kicked out of the group in 2014 (when G-8 became G-7) for annexing Crimea and it remains in the doghouse for most G-7 heads, who don’t share Trump’s enthusiasm for Russia.

But this uncertainty alone should not cast doubts on Trump’s plans for G-7 overhaul. Negotiators had looked at competing numbers for the 1997-99 expansion as well, but had settled on the smaller number to keep it manageable. India made it to that group.

There was a clear need for a broader platform in 1997 to address challenges to global financial stability due to the widening economic crisis in Asian countries. And the G-20 provided an answer. The forum played an effective role after the 2008 crisis.

Trump’s expansion plan, on the other hand, is not well-thought-out. It does not appear to be about the coronavirus pandemic, the worst health crisis faced by the world in 100 years. If he believed in multilateralism to deal with it or prevent the next, he would have continued to fund the World Health Organization and forced to change it from within.

There was a clear need for a broader platform in 1997 to address challenges to global financial stability due to the widening economic crisis in Asian countries. And the G-20 provided an answer. The forum played an effective role after the 2008 crisis.

Trump’s expansion plan, on the other hand, is not well-thought-out. It does not appear to be about the coronavirus pandemic, the worst health crisis faced by the world in 100 years. If he believed in multilateralism to deal with it or prevent the next, he would have continued to fund the World Health Organization and forced to change it from within.

President Bill Clinton had broached the need for broadening the Group of Seven nations, called the G-7, in the wake of the Asian economic crisis of 1997. And that led to the launch of the G-20 in 1999, a group of 19 countries and the European Union. Today,  President Donald Trump, has called for expanding the same body, G-7, on the basis that it is “very outdated.”

It was unclear whether Trump’s desire to invite the additional countries was a bid to permanently expand the G7. On several previous occasions, he suggested Russia be added, given what he called Moscow’s global strategic importance.

Russia was expelled from what was then the G8 in 2014 when Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, was U.S. president, after Moscow annexed the Crimea region from Ukraine. Russia still holds the territory, and various G7 governments have rebuffed previous calls from Trump to readmit Moscow.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Saturday he would postpone a Group of Seven summit he had hoped to hold next month until September or later and expand the list of invitees to include Australia, Russia, South Korea and India.

Speaking to reporters on Air Force One during his return to Washington from Cape Canaveral in Florida, Trump said the G7, which groups the world’s most advanced economies, was a “very outdated group of countries” in its current format.

“I’m postponing it because I don’t feel that as a G7 it properly represents what’s going on in the world,” Trump said. Most European countries offered no immediate comment on the proposal, with a spokesman for the German government saying Berlin was “waiting for further information”.

The decision to postpone the G7 summit is a retreat for Trump, who had sought to host the group of major industrialized countries in Washington as a demonstration that the United States was returning to normal after the coronavirus epidemic, which has killed more than 113,000 Americans to date. Trump had canceled an in-person G7 meeting scheduled for March as the virus spread, but had recently sought to revive it.

French President Emmanuel Macron backed the idea of an in-person meeting, according to the White House. But Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declined to endorse it, saying there were too many health-related questions. This week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she could not attend.

South Korea is aware of Trump’s invitation and will discuss the matter with the United States, a government official in Seoul told Reuters on Sunday. It’s also not about the economic crisis that has accompanied the pandemic.

All Trump cares about, at this time, is his re-election prospects. That’s why German chancellor Angela Merkel, the sharpest of politicians in the western world, who has made it a practice to not visit the United States in election years, is skipping the summit, although, to be sure, she has other reasons.

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