If U.S. President Donald Trump's objective is to make himself the center of attention at every international event, he is succeeding. If he aims to undermine the legitimacy of international institutions, he is making progress. If, however, he seeks to make America great again, his actions are working at cross purposes to his goal. Those are the inescapable conclusions to be drawn from last weekend's Group of Seven leaders summit.

The run-up to the conclave established that the leaders summit would be difficult. At the finance representatives meeting held earlier in the week, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was isolated, as the six other countries issued a statement calling on Mnuchin to convey to Trump their "unanimous concern and disappointment" over the U.S. decision to unilaterally impose tariffs on its chief trade partners. Bill Morneau, Canada's finance minister and host of the meeting, called Washington's decision "destructive." That historic split prompted references to the "G6 plus 1," and sparked concern over the heads of state meeting that was to be held days later.

Trump did not disappoint. He doubled down on his trade policy, insisting that the United States was being treated unfairly by trade partners and demanding they eliminate their trade surpluses with his country. As he departed for Canada, he suggested that Russia be readmitted to the group, disregarding Moscow's annexation of Crimea and the fomenting of rebellion in Ukraine that prompted its expulsion in 2014. He arrived late and left early, with multiple media reports revealing that Trump considered skipping the conclave altogether. During the meeting, he reportedly offered to eliminate all U.S. tariffs if other countries would do the same, and threatened a trade war if they did not. Trump showed up late for sessions, and held a solo news conference when he departed at which he charged that his country was "the piggy bank that everyone was robbing. And that ends."