Heads of state attend G7 meeting in Quebec Leon Neal/Getty Images

Why the G7 Is a Zero

Since its creation in the 1970s, the Group of Seven has become increasingly irrelevant in a world of new emerging powers. An institution that excludes the BRICs while still including economic basket cases like Italy cannot possibly claim the legitimacy required to exercise global economic leadership.

LONDON – Though US President Donald Trump’s appearance at the Group of Seven (G7) summit in Quebec last week was not particularly well received, I find myself sympathizing with his skepticism toward the group. I have long doubted that the annual meeting of leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States serves any useful purpose.

Back in 2001, when I coined the BRIC acronym, I predicted that the growing economic importance of Brazil, Russia, India, and China would eventually require a significant change to global economic governance. At a minimum, I observed, global-governance bodies should include China, if not all of the BRICs.

At the same time, I pointed out that there was little reason for France, Germany, and Italy to be represented individually, given that they share a currency, a monetary policy, and a framework for fiscal policy (at least in principle). And I questioned whether Canada and the UK should still be included among the world’s most important economies.

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