Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

UN flags fly outside the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City, where the Group of Seven summit begins tomorrow. Photo: Alice Chiche/AFP/Getty Images

Leaders of the Group of 7 industrialized democracies will gather this week in Quebec for their annual meeting on the world's economy. Following the Trump administration's recent imposition of steel and aluminum tariffs on Europe, Japan and Canada, however, the summit is shaping up as 6 versus 1.

Why it matters: What would normally be an opportunity to forge unity on key challenges — with China's discriminatory trade practices foremost among them — will be anything but.

The summit comes as wealthy democracies worry about an accelerating slide toward all-out trade war. Canada and Mexico have already responded to the tariffs with their own measures against U.S. imports, and the European Union is readying to retaliate. Trump has signaled that he may next impose tariffs on foreign automobiles, to which America's economic partners are likely to respond. Endless tit-for-tat moves toward protectionism would be bad for everyone.

Worse, the meeting will likely miss a major opportunity to counter China's anti-competitive practices. Beijing imposes discriminatory investment rules that favor local companies and often force foreign firms to transfer technology. Intellectual property theft remains a major problem and China's state-owned banks and enterprises direct capital in ways that undermine good lending standards.

The bottom line: By presenting a united front, the G7 countries could begin to chip away at these practices. Instead, however, the summit is likely to be characterized by disunity — and for all the wrong reasons.

Richard Fontaine is the president of the Center for a New American Security.

Go deeper

Updated 11 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Empire State Building among hundreds to light up in Biden inauguration coronavirus tribute.
  3. Vaccine: Fauci: 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely" doable.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode again.
  5. Tech: Kids' screen time sees a big increase.

Biden Cabinet confirmation schedule: When to watch hearings

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on Jan. 16 in Wilmington, Delaware. Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

The first hearings for President-elect Joe Biden's Cabinet nominations begin on Tuesday, with testimony from his picks to lead the departments of State, Homeland and Defense.

Why it matters: It's been a slow start for a process that usually takes place days or weeks earlier for incoming presidents. The first slate of nominees will appear on Tuesday before a Republican-controlled Senate, but that will change once the new Democratic senators-elect from Georgia are sworn in.

Kamala Harris resigns from Senate seat ahead of inauguration

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Photo: Mason Trinca/Getty Images

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris submitted her resignation from her seat in the U.S. Senate on Monday, two days before she will be sworn into her new role.

What's next: California Gov. Gavin Newsom has selected California Secretary of State Alex Padilla to serve out the rest of Harris' term, which ends in 2022.