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

Trump to miss environmental talks at G7

Trump to miss environmental talks at G7

Trump, who is on his way to Singapore for a summit with North Korea's leader, also reiterated warnings that his administration was mulling tariffs "on automobiles flooding the U.S. market" in a move that would be primarily aimed at another G7 member, Germany.

On the subject of Russia, Trump said he thought it would be "an asset" to have the country in what would be the G8. Second, Trump spoke following Austria's confirmation that it has transmitted a proposal from Russian President Vladimir Putin for an early summit with him.

Mr Trump spent the days leading up to the meeting tweeting complaints about the summit's "indignant" host, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and French President Emmanuel Macron, arguing that both leaders refused to budge on their trade positions.

'We strive to reduce tariff barriers, non-tariff barriers and subsidies, ' the leaders said in a statement after a meeting that focused heavily on trade fights between the United States and its allies.

"Ultimately that's what you want, you want tariff free, no barriers, and you want no subsides because you have some countries subsidizing industries and that's not fair", Trump said.

"The G7 nations remain committed to controlling Iran's nuclear ambitions with or without them".

"We're not going to be able to do that work under the threat of tariffs".

Here's a World Bank graph of trade-weighted average tariffs for the G7 countries - with U.S. almost identical to UK/Italy/France/Ger, higher than Japan/Can. "When you're down $375 billion you can't lose", he said, likely referring to the trade imbalance with China. "Angela, and Emmanuel and Justin: I would say the relationship is a 10. When we try to bring our piece up a little bit so it's not so bad". Bannon said China is "now on notice that Trump will not back down from even allies" complaints in his goal of "America First'".

He delivered that message personally during meetings with other leaders of the Group of Seven major economies, which took place in Canada on Friday and Saturday.

He also said the USA was so disadvantaged it had nothing to lose in a trade war.

"The constant victim-talk doesn't help anyone", he continued.

"They do so much more business with us than we do with them ... the numbers are so astronomically against them? we win that war a thousand times out of a thousand". Canada and European leaders were enraged, vowed to retaliate, and delivered a number of jabs at the president ahead of the G7 summit.

But, he said, the US could no longer tolerate "brutal" deals, even threatening to tear up the North American Free Trade Agreement if he didn't get his way. "Or like the title of the movie '10 Things I Hate About You'".

G7 leaders have called for negotiations to begin this year to develop stronger rules on market-distorting industrial subsidies and trade-distorting actions by state-owned enterprises. "Many of the current discussions about trade, especially with the USA, despite the common commitment, will continue".

NPR's Ayesha Rascoe is in Quebec for the summit, and she's with us now.

The President's public comments on trade echoed the complaints he made directly to the leaders from Canada, Japan and Europe in private sessions on Friday.

The EU then announced tariffs on U.S. goods ranging from Harley-Davidson motorcycles to bourbon.

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