Trump, G-7 leaders to open summit focused on world economy

President Donald Trump smiles while speaking during a Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony for former NBA basketball player and coach Bob Cousy, of the Boston Celtics, in the Oval Office of the White House, Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump and other leaders of the world's most industrialized nations will open their annual G-7 summit over the weekend by discussing the global economy.

White House officials said Thursday that the session was added to Sunday's schedule at the last minute at Trump's request.

Trump insists the U.S. economy is strong despite fears that a recession may be on the horizon. At the same time, global economic growth has slowed due to weakness in Germany, Europe's largest economy, and a pronounced slowdown in China, the world's second-largest economy, as it remains locked in a tense trade standoff with the U.S.

The dour global outlook is partly a reflection of Trump's combative approach to trade with China and other nations he has hit or threatened to hit with tariffs.

Trump and the six other leaders of the Group of Seven nations will begin meeting Saturday for three days in the southwestern French resort town of Biarritz. France holds the 2019 presidency of the G-7, which also includes Britain, Canada, Germany, Italy and Japan.

Leaders are to meet at an informal dinner Saturday, where they are expected to discuss foreign policy and security issues before more formal working sessions Sunday and Monday.

Trump is also scheduled to meet on the sidelines of the summit with several world leaders, including French President Emmanuel Macron, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Boris Johnson, Britain's new prime minister, will also have his first face-to-face meeting with Trump, a personal friend, since taking office a few weeks ago.

Trump also plans to raise the issue of a landmark tax France is imposing on major tech companies like Google and Facebook despite Trump's threats of retaliatory tariffs on French wine. The French government has said the tax is meant as a temporary measure pending the conclusion of negotiations on an international deal France wants to work out with the U.S.

The tax is designed to keep multinational corporations from avoiding taxes by setting up European headquarters in low-tax European countries. Currently, companies such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Airbnb and Uber pay very little tax on their significant business in countries like France.

The Trump administration says the tax is discriminatory against U.S. business.

Other News

Fidel Castro thanks Cuba, criticizes Obama, on 90th birthday

Aug 14, 2016

Fidel Castro thanked Cubans for their well-wishes on his 90th birthday and criticized President Barack Obama in a lengthy letter published in state media

UK manufacturers see costs jump in wake of Brexit vote

Aug 16, 2016

Official figures show consumer prices in Britain rose more than expected in July, while the cost of raw materials for manufacturers are mounting as a result of the pound's drop in the wake of the vote to leave the European Union

Global stocks dip ahead of release of Fed minutes

Aug 17, 2016

Global stocks and the price of oil dipped Wednesday as investors awaited the release of the minutes to the Federal Reserve's latest meeting for hints on when the next interest rate increase might come

The Budget Report seeks to provide comprehensive coverage and analysis on the current economic, financial issues around the world. First hand finance and economic news all day, every day.