'It's been difficult'
U.S. allies are having a particularly tough time preparing for the upcoming G-7 summit in Italy on Friday and Saturday, the first that President Trump will attend in person. Officials are trying to write up the statements they'll deliver, as is the norm ahead of such meetings, but they are struggling to work with the "broad points" that U.S. officials have submitted that "fail to nail down positions on issues the leaders will discuss," Politico reported.
The French are hoping Trump can clear up whether or not he actually wants to back out of the Paris climate agreement, while Italy wants to know if Trump would be willing to help out with the influx of refugees. So far, the White House has only indicated that Trump will "promote economic prosperity and global growth" and "address unfair trade practices and other global issues, such as the role of innovation in the economy, women's equality, and food security."
"We haven't exactly seen the same situation before," said Pierre Vimont, a former French ambassador to the United States who has talked to people involved with G-7 conversations. "It's been difficult to find an agreement with the Americans."
Trump's ambiguity may be a bargaining tactic, so that he can see what other leaders will offer him before he puts his cards on the table. But, Politico noted, such vague answers in response to allies' demands for clarity could very well "cause drama" during his first foreign trip.