Published: Sun, June 10, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Trump floats scrapping all tariffs, barriers at G-7 summit

Trump floats scrapping all tariffs, barriers at G-7 summit

President Trump said retaliation tariffs from his allies were a "mistake" and warned that if it got as far as a trade war, then the USA would "win that war a thousand times out of a thousand".

And the traditional "family photo" - featuring UK Prime Minister Theresa May, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, US President Donald Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, French President Emmanuel Macron, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte - offers a glimpse of the tension.

Speaking at a post-summit press conference, Trudeau acknowledged that there were major differences with Trump.

US President Donald Trump speaks to the press before departing the White House for the G7 summit in Washington, DC, on June 8, 2018.

The president said the US was "pretty close" to reaching an agreement on the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico and had discussed two types of sunset provisions in which any of the countries could leave the deal.

Canada hosts this year's G7 in La Malbaie, Quebec.

Canada is now adding the tariffs to its list of deal breakers on NAFTA.

Trump appeared to get one concession when the G7 committed "to modernize the WTO to make it more fair as soon as possible". And tariffs are going to come way down because people can not continue to do that.

Trump, who arrived late to the first meeting on gender equality today, will leave before talks on climate change and the health of oceans, after not gaining support in his grievances over United States tariffs.

Trudeau also said that Canada will go ahead with retaliatory tariffs from July 1, according to CNN. "And that ends." - Trump insists that the current status quo on trade can not be allowed to continue.

"The United States is in favor of protecting the oceans in principle, but they do not want to participate in quantifiable goals in that regard", Merkel said.

But in a tweet after flying out of Canada, the USA president showed he was in no mood to back down in any trade dispute.

As he prepared to travel to Canada, he ramped up his blast of Canada on Twitter this morning over what he says are unfair trade practices.

He said unleashing retaliatory measures "is not something I relish doing" but that he wouldn't hesitate to do so because "I will always protect Canadian workers and Canadian interests".

For the past week, it was an open question in official Ottawa whether Trump would actually show up, given his recent trade actions against the other G7 countries and his increasingly antagonistic comments about their approach to global relations.

"The Prime Minister said nothing he hasn't said before - both in public, and in private conversations with the President".

"We strive to reduce tariff barriers, non-tariff barriers and subsidies", the leaders' statement read.

"The EU understands that the only way with Trump is strength", said one European official.

And he made clear that extends to the current deal the renegotiating with its continental neighbours, Canada and Mexico.

President Trump departed the summit early, skipping out on a meeting to discuss climate change.

But by insisting on re-negotiating every five years, Trump is diametrically opposed with Canada, which says the sunset clause would create perpetual uncertainty and harm long-term investment. A senior administration official told the reporter that Trump had been angered by Trudeau's comments.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel sat between Macron and Trump on a sofa, while Trudeau sat to the left of the USA president.

Trudeau refused, and the meeting was off.

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