Jun 11, 2018
Trump has caused a big fuss at the Group of 7 (G7) meeting of the world’s economic powerhouses, saying long-time allies like Canada, France, England, and Germany are “robbing” the U.S. And Trump talks about wanting to make the G-7 back into the G-8, by bringing Russia back into the fold.
The leaders of France and Canada responded by threatening to make it the G-6, by excluding the U.S. It sounds like a big fight. The media expresses concern that Trump is attacking “our” friends, while cosying up to “our” foes.
But what has actually come out of all this so far is ... a lot of hot air. All of the debate ignores the reality that the U.S. remains the world’s dominant economic power. That’s why Trump knows he can get away with all his grandstanding – there’s not too much Europe, Canada, or Japan can do. The real economic relations among these countries are not shaped by negotiations. They are shaped by the economic realities underneath, in which U.S. capital remains dominant.
And in reality, while the capitalists of each country use their own national governments to seek an advantage here or there, these capitalists are also deeply interconnected. The big corporations and the banks are international – they trade across borders, set up international supply chains, and most importantly, they invest across borders.
Whatever his game at the G-7, one thing is for sure – Trump is playing to his base, trying to make it look like he is playing hardball to get a better deal for U.S. workers. He wants us to think that our problems come from abroad, from workers or companies in other countries. But the reality is, all these bosses, whatever country they’re from, are our enemies.
Friend or foe? None are our friends. All are our foes, including the ones from right here in the USA.