Published: Sat, June 09, 2018
Business | By Eloise Houston

America's allies should stand up to its reckless trade policy

America's allies should stand up to its reckless trade policy

On the eve of the G-7 summit in Canada, the USA president lashed out at host Justin Trudeau and the White House announced Donald Trump would skip some of the sessions.

British Prime Minister Theresa May took a more measured tone, telling reporters she wanted the European Union to use restraint in its retaliation to the USA tariffs and that the response must be proportionate and legal. Trump also said at the time that he was undecided about the climate change agreement.

Macron's initiative comes six weeks after Macron and Trump exhibited their friendship at a state visit in Washington - with exaggerated handshakes and a pair of kisses.

Macron said he and Trudeau discussed their "common vision of the world", adding that "this period is marked by great challenges" - part of their pre-G7 united front, marked by the French president tweeting Wednesday of his country's "convergence" with Canada.

Trudeau has publicly denounced the "national security" justification for the new tariffs.

Despite the lobbying and pleas, Trump has pressed ahead with tariffs as well as pulling out of the Paris climate accord. Trump, by contrast, often seems to view trade as a kind of war game in which one country's gain necessarily means another country's loss.

U.S. President Donald Trump talks to the media at the White House in Washington, U.S., June 1, 2018. "The cost of raw materials will rise and industry will become less competitive".

Trump said as he departed the White House for the summit in Quebec.

In Ottawa, Macron and Trudeau offered an olive branch of sorts by offering Trump a modest measure of support in his historic meeting in Singapore with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. "Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors requested that the United States Secretary of the Treasury communicate their unanimous concern and disappointment".

While trade is not officially on the agenda of the G-7 summit, there is a theme called "economic growth that works for everyone".

Trump and Trudeau have been at odds over the US president's decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

That's because Trudeau and Macron are expected to reiterate their previous messaging at the G7 summit, and claim that Trump's tariffs will hurt American workers and damage the U.S.' image internationally.

Canada, Mexico and the European Union have separately announced retaliatory tariffs.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she expects "difficult discussions" at the summit in Quebec.

Trump's call for Russian Federation to be readmitted to the G7 came amid increasing tensions between the US and key allies, as well as the president's increasingly warmer stance on Russian Federation.

Other G-7 leaders may also choose to be less confrontational with Trump.

President Trump tweeted directly at the leaders he was about to sit down with. "Didn't you guys burn down the White House?" he said, referring to the War of 1812.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte arrives in Canada for the G7.

It will presumably be suggested that Trump was just having an erudite little historical jest - you know, the sort of thing he's known so well for.

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