Trump threatens US allies on trade as he exits G7 summit

10 June, 2018, 16:28 | Author: Myra Gill
  • Trump calls for Russia's reinstatement as a major ally adding to tensions as he heads to G-7 summit

Sticking points also remain in the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) renegotiations between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, despite it being a key topic during the bilateral meeting between Mr Trump and Canadian PM Justin Trudeau.

The US leader had left the meeting early en route for Singapore and a historic nuclear summit with North Korea's Kim Jong Un, only to take exception to comments made by Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at a news conference back on the ground.

"We are focused on everything we accomplished here at the #G7 summit.The Prime Minister said nothing he hasn't said before -- both in public, and in private conversations with the President", the statement read.

After departing from the Quebec summit for Singapore, Trump tweeted that Trudeau's remarks at a news conference, where he said Canada would not be pushed around, "were very dishonest and weak".

Trump, who last week slapped tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, the European Union and Mexico, left the Group of Seven summit early but not before threatening to cut off trade with countries that treated the United States unfairly.

Speaking in a solo press conference from the resort town of La Malbaie in Quebec, the president said that for too long, US trade has suffered from "bad" trade deals agreed to by past USA presidents. "And we charge nothing", he said. "We make commitments and keep them". Afterward, he said that talks had been "extremely productive" on trade and other issues.

"We do not want the situation to escalate to a full-blown and merciless trade war, but hostile actions can not be left unanswered", French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said this week.

With Trump rejecting those compromises and turning his back on an agreement, can the G7 remain intact?


Nafta was a key topic when Trump held a bilateral meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday, with Trump later saying they had a "very, very good meeting on Nafta". Trump said Saturday that re-admitting Russian Federation to the elite club would be "an asset", telling reporters, "we're looking for peace in the world".

President Trump proposed a major shakeup of the world's economic order during a summit in Canada this week, suggesting the world's big economies drop all tariffs and market-distoring subsidies and go to a fully free system of trade.

Mr Trump's strained relationship with the rest of the G7 was in evidence on Saturday when he arrived late for the opening session, with Mr Trudeau addressing a gathering that included an empty chair where the president was meant to be.

"The level of relationship is a 10". In fact, Russian Federation was expelled from what was then the G-8 after its invasion and annexation of Crimea and its support for pro-Russia separatists in Ukraine.

Trump's presidency has been clouded by a federal investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, and possible collusion by his campaign.

Shortly before, Trudeau had announced the G7 countries had all agreed on the statement.

The Charlevoix G-7 summit was marked by sharp disagreements over Trump's decision to impose higher import taxes on aluminum and steel imports.

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