Prime Minister to discuss trade, Amazon fires at G7 summit
Published Friday, August 23, 2019 12:57PM EDT
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is on his way to France to join the G7 summit.
In addition to the many trade and political issues on the agenda, the fires in the Amazon jungle are now expected to come up.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron have both said that the forest fires should be on the agenda.
Flames have been raging in the rainforest for three weeks, well ahead of the usual season for forest fires there, and the Brazilian space agency says the country has experienced a record number of fires this year.
There have been 75,000 fires this year which is an 85 percent increase over other years.
Environmental groups blame Brazilian President Bolsonaro's policies for the situation.
Now France and Ireland say they will block a massive trade deal between the European Union and South America unless Brazil steps up the fight against the fires.
Macron is calling it an international crisis because the forest produces 20 percent of the world's oxygen, but now the so-called lungs of the world are emitting carbon dioxide.
Before leaving for France, Trudeau tweeted he "couldn't agree more" pledging support for Marcon's idea.
Support for Canadians detained in China
In the meantime, Trudeau himself will be looking for support from the G7 on Canada's efforts to free two Canadians accused of being spies and still being detained in China.
China's foreign ministry openly mocked Canada Friday for its decision to suspend consular travel outside of Hong Kong, including to mainland China.
At a daily press briefing, a spokesman said that only those with ulterior motives should be fearful of travelling in China.
Last year Canada hosted the G7 summit which ended with U.S. President Donald Trump tweeting out a tirade against Trudeau, basically calling him weak and dishonest.
That was when Trump was positioning himself for a trade deal with Canada, but since then there have been better talks between these two countries, while the U.S. has engaged in a trade dispute with China.
On Thursday U S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Ottawa and lent American support to the two detained Canadian men, saying it was completely unacceptable.
Trade with Boris Johnson and the U.K. will also be a new factor with Johnson wanting to negotiate separate deals with individual members of the G7 as he pushes for a hard Brexit.
Because of the divisiveness caused by last year's meeting, the G7 summit is expected to end without an agreement for the first time since meetings began in 1975.