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TheNewYorkTimes/2017/7/6 18:10

Showdown in Hamburg

Stopping over in Poland on his way to the Group of 20 summit meeting in Germany gives President Trump a chance to briefly bask in the acclaim of a right-wing, illiberal Polish leadership before he starts taking flak from more powerful allies like Germany and France. The host of the gathering, Chancellor Angela Merkel, has made clear that she intends to focus on issues on which Mr. Trump has sharply parted ways with much of the European Union, including trade, climate change and migration.
Mr. Trump'€™s first visit to Europe in May left plenty of bruises, raising serious doubts among European leaders about his commitment not only to old and valued alliances but also to America'€™s traditional leadership role in the world, and it will be interesting to see whether he is in healing mode this time around. In Brussels, speaking at NATO headquarters, Mr. Trump lectured allies on their financial contributions and failed to reaffirm NATO'€™s mutual defense pledge. The Group of 7 meeting in Sicily shortly thereafter exposed further divisions over policy, and a week later Mr. Trump announced he was pulling the United States out of the landmark Paris agreement on fighting global warming.
Ms. Merkel, who declared after the G-7 meeting that American leadership can no longer be relied on, has been marshaling her forces, in tandem with President Emmanuel Macron of France, for the meeting of the G-20, a larger and more powerful grouping consisting of the leaders of 19 major powers and the European Union. In a speech to her Parliament last week she declared, in an unmistakable allusion to Mr. Trump, that '€œanybody who believes the problems of the world can be solved with isolationism and protectionism is making a big mistake.'€
There could well be fireworks outside the meeting halls as well. Thousands of protesters have descended on Hamburg '€” a city with a long history of protests and riots, where the meeting will be held Friday and Saturday '€” to demonstrate against everything from globalization and capitalism to the controversial leaders who will be there, most notably Mr. Trump, President Vladimir Putin of Russia and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey.




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