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French press review 11 June 2018

3 min

US President Donald Trump continues to fire off messages criticising those he says want to rob America's workers. Trump remains unhappy with the weekend G7 summit, even as he prepares for his meeting in Singapore with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.


There's no stopping the man! Le Monde reports that Donald Trump, even as he prepares to meet his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong-un, continues to chew the fat about this weekend's G7 summit in Canada.

The United States are not going to be fooled over fair trade, trumpets Trump in a Tweet sent from Singapore. The American leader claims that the Canadian balance of trade with the US is at least 17 billion dollars (14 billion euros) and that US dairy products are subject to a 270 percent import duty at the Canadian border.

Trump claims that American farmers, workers and taxpayers face an unfair burden because of a trade deficit which the president says amounts to 800 billion dollars.

Then the American leader claims that the US pays close to the entire cost of Nato, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, "protecting many of these same countries that rip us off on trade".

Trump is particularly annoyed about Germany, which he claims contributes just one percent of its Gross Domestic Product to Nato, while the US gives four percent.

"We protect Europe at great financial loss," says the US leader, "and then get unfairly clobbered on trade. Change is coming!"

The poor old Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, is getting it from all angles.

Larry Kudlow, Trump's chief economic advisor, accused Trudeau of "treachery",
saying the G7 host had conned Trump and the other leaders.

Trump's trade advisor, Peter Navarro, warned that there was a "special place in hell" for any foreign leader who negotiated in bad faith with Donald Trump and then tried to stab him in the back.

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland has reacted by saying that foreign policy is best transacted at an impersonal level, especially when dealing with near neighbours and close allies.

You have to wonder what "Rocket Man" Kim Jong-un is making of all this. If that's how Trump treats his friends, what's he going to splutter about a nation with which the US has been at daggers drawn since 1953? Kim must be quaking.

Macron needs a miracle

Left-leaning Libération looks at the dilemma facing President Emmanuel Macron on the question of public spending. How is the French leader to reduce the national debt and, at the same time, push the perception of his policies a little further towards the left? Especially in a global situation which is anything but rosy?

Libé's editorial on the question is headlined "Cacophony".

There's a growing amount of noise within the presidential majority, coming from MPs who are unhappy with the broadly right-wing tendencies of Macron's rule. Money has got to be saved but not at the expense of the poor.

Interest rates are on the way up, meaning debt servicing will become more expensive, while spending by French households is down.

Libé says a majority of French voters continue to have faith in the head of state's capacity to sort out the country. His handling of the reform of the national rail company, for example, is generally admired, it says.

However, laments the left-leaning paper, fewer voters are convinced of Macron's commitment to social justice. He's going to have a tough time in trying to keep his campaign promises in an increasingly hostile real world.

Emmanuel Macron is likely to carry the tag of president of the rich for some time to come.

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