Economic clouds over Biarritz G7 summit

The French resort town of Biarritz is holding the G7 summit amid a gloomy economic outlook.
The French resort town of Biarritz is holding the G7 summit amid a gloomy economic outlook.

US President Donald Trump and other leaders of the world's most industrialised nations will open their annual G-7 summit over the weekend by discussing the global economy.

White House officials said Thursday that the session was added to Sunday's schedule at the last minute at Trump's request.

Trump insists the US economy is strong despite fears that a recession may be on the horizon. At the same time, global economic growth has slowed due a pronounced slowdown in China, the world's second-largest economy, as it remains locked in a trade standoff with the US, and weakness in Germany.

The dour global outlook is partly a reflection of Trump's combative approach to trade with China and other nations he has hit or threatened to hit with tariffs.

The leaders of the Group of Seven nations will begin meeting on Saturday for three days in the southwestern French resort town of Biarritz. France holds the 2019 presidency of the G-7, which also includes Britain, Canada, Germany, Italy and Japan.

Trump also plans to raise the issue of a landmark tax France is imposing on major tech companies like Google and Facebook despite threats of retaliatory US tariffs on French wine. The French government has said the tax is meant as a temporary measure pending the conclusion of negotiations on an international deal France wants to work out with the US

The tax is designed to keep multinational corporations from avoiding taxes by setting up European headquarters in low-tax European countries.

Currently, companies such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Airbnb and Uber pay very little tax on their significant business in countries like France.

Australian Associated Press