Photo of Merkel and Trump captures G7 tensions

Howard TerryJun 11, 2018

Trump was the last leader to arrive at the summit and is expected to be the first to leave on Saturday, as he prepares for a meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un in Singapore on June 12.

The two-day summit in Canada has been marred by a tit-for-tat exchanges of hostile tweets, with U.S. trading partners furious over Trump's decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, the European Union and Mexico as part of his "America First" agenda.

Trump tweeted Friday he's "looking forward to straightening out unfair trade deals with G7 countries" at the summit, saying the United States would "come out even better" if the deals were not improved.

He said he had suggested to the other G7 leaders that all trade barriers, including tariffs and subsidies, be eliminated.

After a war of words the day before, American-French relations appear to be back on track at the G7 summit on Friday. He also made controversial comments to reporters calling for Russian Federation, which had been kicked out of the G8 in 2014 over its Crimea invasion, to have its membership reinstated.

"Very dishonest & weak", Trump said, adding that recently imposed U.S. tariffs on imports of Canadian steel and aluminium were in response to similar measures imposed on American dairy products by Canada.

He said that he did not blame G7 leaders for the "unfair" trade deals, but previous USA presidents.

Europe, Canada and Japan are largely united in opposition to Trump's protectionism while trying to find ways to bridge the divide and avoid rupturing the G7, which in its 42-year history has tended to seek consensus on economic and other issues.

G-7 split over Trump's call to readmit Russia

"The other leaders have been calling this G6 + 1 because Trump has been so isolated ever since this began, and that's because he launched an outright attack - that's in the view of the other members - on the global trading system by raising tariffs on steel and aluminum".

"You say the U.S. President doesn't care at all".

Politico reported that leaders present for the meeting took Trump's suggestion as largely rhetorical.

"Russia should be in this meeting", Trump said.

Asked about Trump's tweets and the future of the G7 late Saturday during a photo op in La Malbaie, Trudeau declined to respond to several questions.

The G7 also committed to working to ensure they complement the multilateral trade agreements and to modernize the WTO to make it more fair as soon as possible, the document said. Mexico slapped a 25% import tariff on USA steel products, as well as 20% on pork products, 25% on bourbon and duties on other agricultural goods including cranberries.

Trump has provoked outrage and unsettled markets by imposing tariffs on steel and aluminium imports to the United States. He says that we are the problem with tariffs.

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