It’s prom season for politicians. That is, the season when they all meet up in different configurations and try to solve the world’s problems. This weekend is the Group of 20 (G20) Summit in Hamburg, Germany and all your favourite political figures have come to play (you know, minus Obama). While it’s usually all the nations working together to come to a consensus on global issues like trade, immigration and climate change, there’s one newbie to the party that has clashed with almost everyone. Yes, that would be U.S. President Donald J. Trump.
It seems like a lot of politicians are concerned about Trump’s views, general abrasiveness and ‘America First’ policies. And that’s understandable. There are 19 other nations there that have their own interests and a lot of them support globalization. It looks like Canada’s very own Justin Trudeau may turn out to be the real mediator between Trump and the rest of the G20 leaders.
What is this G20 thing, anyway?
The G20 is made up of the 20 countries with the largest economies. That’s Canada, the U.S., the U.K., Germany, France, Russia, Mexico, Italy, Australia, China, Japan, Turkey, India, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, South Africa, South Korea, Brazil and also the European Union (yeah, yeah, we know that’s not a country). Basically, these guys get together every year in a different host country (like the Olympics) to discuss global issues and hopefully reach some unanimous decisions.
The big players this year are Trump, Trudeau, Germany’s Angela Merkel, France’s Emmanuel Macron, China’s Xi Jinping and Russia’s Vladimir Putin.
What makes Trudeau so important?
Trudeau, king of the political bromance, has built a really good global reputation for himself in just the three years he’s been prime minister. He has good relations with Macron and Merkel (European heavy-weights) and has also been diplomatic with Trump. While he clearly disagrees with many of Trump’s policies (especially when it comes to climate change), Trudeau has remained respectful, putting him in a good position to mediate between Trump and the European countries, in particular, who may want to take less diplomatic approaches.
Since the G20 is all about seeing consensus among these big nations, having actual negotiations (rather than screaming matches) is crucial to the success of the summit. The big talk in the days leading up to the meeting has been about how leaders can best ‘win Trump over’ on free trade, climate change, refugees and social inequality. So yeah, some big issues on the table. Issues about which Trump has been more than vocal, but not in the way most of the other leaders would like.
So what’s happening?
Honestly, not too much yet. The bulk of the bilateral and group meetings will be happening today and tomorrow so we’ll be hearing about them in the next two days. Apart from this one super weird altercation, we haven’t really seen much of Trump and Trudeau together at all.
We’re hoping that interaction was not as heated as it looks. Trump also met with Putin for two hours (when it was only supposed to be 40 minutes) in their first one-on-one since Trump took office. This is a pretty big deal, considering the U.S. has basically proven the Russians meddled in their 2016 election. Hmmm.
Now, to ease some of that political tension, here’s some adorable Trucron. Don’t you love politics?