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China, trade, climate on G-7 agenda; unclear if leaders will reach consensus

Last Updated Aug 23, 2019 at 11:37 am MDT

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks to supporters during a Liberal Party of Canada event in Montreal, Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Summary

The China-U.S. trade dispute is expected to be a big issue that will be discussed at the G-7 summit this weekend


Expert says other issues up for discussion include the situation in Hong Kong, gender equality, and climate change


Trudeau may try to seek a united statement from allies to push for the release of two Canadians detained in China


OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is on his way to France for this weekend’s G-7 summit with other world leaders.

He will have a lot on his agenda but it’s not clear if the world leaders will come to any consensus at this gathering.

China is not at the table for this meeting, but it will be the subject of conversation on several fronts, according to one expert.

“The big issue is the China-U.S. ongoing trade dispute which is having collateral damage around the world,” Colin Robertson with the Canadian Global Affairs Institute explains. “Then there’s a whole series of other issues, including what’s going on in Hong Kong, and do the G-7 leaders take a stand?”

Trudeau may even try to seek a united statement from Canada’s allies.

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“In support of the release of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor — two Canadians that are being held hostage by the Chinese right now,” he says.

The prime minister is also expected to push gender equality issues and be a strong voice on the topic of climate change as the leaders address the Amazon wildfires.

The European Union and Germany have already backed French President Emmanuel Macron’s call to put the Amazon fires on the agenda for the meeting in Biarritz.

However, there may be no final declaration as leaders try to avoid a repeat of last year in Quebec, where President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the communiqué in a Twitter attack from Air Force One.

“I think it would be a sad reflection if the leading democracies can’t reach consensus,” Robertson admits.

The summit wraps up on Sunday.

-With files from The Associated Press