Morrison to come face-to-face with Trump
Scott Morrison will meet Donald Trump on the sidelines of the G7 forum later today as the US President ramps up trade tensions with Australia's biggest trading partner.
Before jetting out to France, the US President bumped up his tariffs on Chinese imports in retaliation for Beijing raising taxes on US products.
Australia has been invited to the leaders' meeting as an observer, not as one of the seven industrialised economies that make up the G7.
But Australia's second tier role in the summit hasn't stopped Mr Morrison securing face-to-face talks with powerful leaders on the first day, including Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Mr Trump.
The Whitehouse confirmed the US and Australian leaders would meet on Sunday afternoon, about midnight Australia time.
Mr Morrison is expected to side with British Prime Minister Boris Johnston who said he would urge the US to ease tensions with China.
It will be the first time the pair has met since Mr Johnson replaced Theresa May.
"This summit is taking place amid increasing global economic headwinds, threats to global security and stability and sharpening trade tensions," Mr Morrison said.
"All of these developments have implications for our national interests. This forum will be an important opportunity to listen and to put forward Australia's views on these global challenges."
During his bilateral meeting with Mr Abe, the Prime Minister is expected to discuss the shape of the global economy and spruik Australia's latest action to block extremist online forums during terror events.
FIRST LADIES HAVE A DAY OUT
Meanwhile, Australia's First Lady Jenny Morrison joined the glamorous wives of G7 leaders on a trip to the French village of Espelette.
The small town in southwest France is situated in the foothills of the Pyrenees and is known for its red peppers and espadrille shoes.
Brigitte Macron, the wife of French President Emmanuel Macron, led the delegation which also included Melania Trump, Malgorzata Tusk, the wife of the European Council President, and the Japanese Prime Minister's wife Akie Abe.
Dressed in a pink top and white pants, Ms Morrison greeted Ms Macron with a kiss before touring the town alongside Mrs Trump.
The small village of Espelette has many boutique stores selling the famous peppers, local chocolates, wine and cheese.
The famous white houses in the town are built in the traditional Basque style with red shutters.
Italian leader Giuseppe Conte and the British PM Boris Johnson are separated, and Mr Johnson's new girlfriend is not in France for the G7.
The wife of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Sophie Grégoire is also absent and Angela Merkel's husband, Joachim Sauer, does not participate in the official summits.
TENSE TIME FOR G7 LEADERS
The once-close allies - France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States - are expected to clash over climate action, Iran, Brexit and trade.
With the global economy slowing and escalating trade tensions, European Council president Donald Tusk has warned that the ongoing disputes could result in a global recession.
"There is still no certainty whether the group will be able to find common solutions, and the global challenges are today really difficult, or whether we'll focus on senseless disputes among each other," Mr Tusk warned.
The G7 summit brings together the leaders of advanced, industrialised democracies which includes France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States. Russia was dumped from the G8 in 2014 after its invasion of the Ukrainian region of Crimea, but Mr Trump is lobbying for Russia's return.
Australia is one of four nations invited to observe the summit, taking part in policy meetings and holding sideline talks.
After a bitter dispute at last year's summit, French President Emmanuel Macron has abandoned the tradition of releasing a joint communique in an attempt to smooth over differences between feuding leaders.