The Trump administration announced on the 17th of October that the 2020 G7 summit would be held at his National Doral Miami resort in Florida. However, in a reversal uncharacteristic of the Trump era, he tweeted several days later that the plan would be retracted and another location would be selected instead.
The decision raised accusations of Pres. Trump exploiting the presidency for financial gain amidst propositions of a House impeachment inquiry into Trump’s actions in office.
The Group of Seven summit, or G7, has been held annually since its formal creation in 1976. It was formed as an event for leaders of the world’s most economically advanced countries to share ideas on contemporary issues. The current member countries are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The European Union is also represented by its Council and Commission Presidents. Russia was excluded from the organization in 2014 (which was previously titled the Group of Eight) due to its annexation of Crimea. The seven countries in G7 comprise roughly 40% of global GDP and 10% of the population. 2019’s G7 summit was held in Biarritz, France; the United States is set to host the 2020 session.
Since his inauguration in 2016, President Trump has emerged as a controversial and influential attendee. At the 2019 summit, Trump reportedly introduced a demand for Russia’s readmission into the organization, causing heated debate among the European countries.
Trump’s announcement of the plan drew criticism from Democrats as well as Republicans. “I think it’s not a good thing to have the appearance — you know, in the law, there’s a canon that says, ‘Avoid the appearance of impropriety,’ ” said Rep. Francis Rooney (R-Fla.), according to the Washington Post. “I think that would be better if he would not use his hotel for this kind of stuff.” White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said the President acknowledges the criticisms and has decided to “put on an excellent G7 somewhere else”.
Public records have showed Trump’s Doral resort has struggled in recent years, and attendance in the resort’s off-season would provide a significant boost to their profits. President Trump claims his plan involved covering expenses “at cost”, but it is unclear to what extent the President would have covered the cost.