Merkel and Trump: A study in contrasting images from G-7

11 June, 2018, 02:07 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel President Donald Trump Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and French President Emmanuel Macron gather for the

US President Donald Trump railed against trade practices he called unfair to the United States at a Group of Seven nations summit where leaders agreed on Saturday to fight protectionism and reform the World Trade Organisation.

French President Emmanuel Macron responded in a "courteous but very firm tone" to present the European side of the story, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe chimed in as well, the official said.

Before the president arrived at the summit, he criticized Canadian tariffs on US dairy products, adding that he was "looking forward to straightening out unfair Trade Deals with the G-7 countries".

Despite reported tensions surrounding the summit, Trudeau announced on Saturday that all seven countries had signed onto a summit communique, The Associated Press reported.

Although Trump says his tariffs are necessary to protect USA industry and workers, Canada and the European Union have denounced them as illegal.

"We strive to reduce tariff barriers, non-tariff barriers and subsidies", the statement said.

This year, the summit will be Friday and Saturday in Quebec, Canada.

"And no subsidies. I even said, 'no tariffs, '" Trump insisted while defending his decision to impose a global tariff on USA imports of steel and aluminium.

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"You have to ask President Obama, cause he was the one that let Crimea get away", Trump dodged.

Canada flatly rejected U.S. President Donald Trump's request Friday to allow Russian Federation back into the G7 fold.

Trump's counterparts in the G7 had sought this week to try to find some semblance of consensus with Washington on trade and the other key issues that have formed the basis of the 42-year-old grouping of industrialized nations.

The other G7 leaders will meet without Trump for the rest of the day, discussing climate change and global development.

Adding fuel to Trump's bonfire request was newly-installed Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, who backed the US president's suggestion.

"I think on trade there is path, but there is a way to progress all together", he told reporters.

But, he said, the USA could no longer tolerate "brutal" deals, even threatening to tear up the North American Free Trade Agreement if he didn't get his way. All three trading partners have threatened to retaliate with their own levies against US imports. "The President of the United States thinks that the U.S. has been treated in an unfair way by Europe and by others, and the others think that this is not the case", European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told a press conference in La Malbaie.

"Our values and interests are built through multilateralism, including American interests", Macron said in a tweet. Trump is heading to Singapore, where he is scheduled to meet on Tuesday with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. He says that we are the problem with tariffs.

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