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

Trump Jokes With Trudeau on Trade at G-7 Summit

Trump Jokes With Trudeau on Trade at G-7 Summit

"There are questions about what is going to be the dynamic around the G7 table, and I can say it will be very similar to other G7 tables, where we highlight and discuss many things we're agreed on and have differences opinion on other things", Trudeau explained.

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.

The proposal, made during the two-day Group of Seven nations summit in La Malbaie, Quebec, was strongly supported by other leaders present, the official said, adding that European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said he was ready to invest personally in it. Juncker has also offered to visit Washington for a common assessment of EU-US trade to help resolve the dispute, an official said.

Before departing for Canada, Mr Trump tweeted: "Please tell Prime Minister Trudeau and President Macron that they are charging the USA massive tariffs and create a non-monetary barriers".

At a joint press conference on Thursday, Macron said: "A trade war doesn't spare anyone".

European Council President Donald Tusk expressed broad concern about Trump's opposition to the global rules-based order, because it "is being challenged, quite surprisingly, not by the usual suspects but by its main architect and guarantor, the U.S".

"We have massive trade deficits with nearly every country, we will straighten that out", Trump said. The EU trade surplus with the United States is $151bn, and Canada keeps a farmers and others out. "Look forward to seeing them tomorrow". "They understand. They're trying to act like, "Well, we fought with you in the wars" but they don't mention the fact that they have trade barriers against our farmers, they don't mention the fact that they're charging nearly 300-per-cent tariffs". His advisers have said he is trying to use the threat of tariffs as leverage to force other countries to lower barriers in a way that would allow more USA imports.

Trump responded with his trademark Twitter bluntness a few hours later, The New York Times reported. Eventually, Trump left earlier than expected and went to Singapore to meet with Kim Jong-un.

Trump will skip out on G-7 meetings about climate change, clean energy and ocean protection.

Members of the G-7 include the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Japan, France, Italy and Germany. The EU also attends.

He called Canadian PM Justin Trudeau "indignant" and took aim at French President Macron as well.

The leaders came armed with an array of their own statistics aimed at demonstrating to Trump that he was not right to view the U.S.as a victim. Mr. Putin might be in his club as much as British Prime Minister Theresa May or Mr. Trudeau.

The issue is certain to be raised when Trump holds separate meeting in Charlevoix on Friday with French President Emmanuel Macron and Trudeau. "But he doesn't bring up the fact that they charge us up to 300% on dairy - hurting our Farmers, killing our Agriculture", the U.S. president said. And they met again late this afternoon. "When we can underscore this, and we see that there's a lot of pressure within the USA, perhaps he will revise his position".

Trump's deteriorating relationships with Trudeau and Macron - both of whom he has previously lavished with praise - come as the US finds itself increasingly isolated from key allies over Trump's isolationist policies, including his decisions to pull out of the Paris climate agreement and to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal. The tariffs target USA steel and aluminum, as well as other items like bourbon, motorcycles, peanut butter, chewing tobacco, and orange juice. Canada is waiting until the end of the month to apply them with the hope the Trump administration will reconsider.

On Wednesday, the European Union announced $3 billion worth of tariffs on US products in retaliation would go into effect next month.

Trump is expecting a knock-down, drag-out fight with top USA allies over trade during his time at the conference, held in remote Quebec. He spent Friday participating in the rituals of the G-7, including the formal greeting by host Trudeau, a group photo in front of the sparkling St. Lawrence River and a working lunch of Arctic char and buckwheat salad.

Despite the conflict, Mallaby predicted that the countries would still seek to work with the USA, calling it "the indispensable country".

"We support both actions", Drake said, "but also believe they would be more effective and less likely to invite retaliation if they were executed with our allies instead of aiming at them".

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