Thursday, 20 September, 2018

France, Europe stand by G7 statement after Trump U-turn: French official

Communique at G-7 released after Trump says U.S. won't endorse it Donald Trump rejects G7 communique as he brands Justin Trudeau 'weak'
Russell Knight | 10 June, 2018, 23:14

Trump - who left the G-7 summit and headed to Singapore for his planned summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un - lashed out at Trudeau after revoking US endorsement of the communique, dubbing the Canadian prime minister "meek and mild".

Trump said his statement was in response to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's comment following the summit that Canada "would not be pushed around".

In a second tweet, Trump said that Trudeau acted "meek and mild" during the G7 summit and that the U.S. tariffs were in response to Canada's 270% tariff on dairy products.

Trudeau criticized Trump's recent decision to place tariffs on steel and aluminum from the European Union, Canada and Mexico, saying it was "insulting" that Trump cited USA national security as his reason for doing so.

Mr Trump earlier warned his counterparts against retaliation after the U.S. imposed tariffs on steel and aluminium from Europe, Mexico and Canada - saying they would be "making a mistake".

During a press conference, Trump threatened to stop trading with countries that do not reduce barriers to American products.

Trump also said NAFTA negotiators were "pretty close" to agree on some kind of sunset provision, which could allow the trade agreement to be renegotiated every five years. "I think it would be an asset to have Russian Federation back in". 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. "And if it's not fixed, then we're not going to deal with these countries". In that black-and-white photo, posted by US Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, Mr Trump appears to talk confidently as other leaders listen.

Sharply criticizing Trump's remarks on tariffs, Trudeau promised that Canada would answer with its own on July 1 unless the US reversed course. Macron said Thursday on Twitter, "The American President may not mind being isolated, but neither do we mind signing a 6 country agreement if need be". I said okay, but so far we're getting nothing. "Both of those things could happen", Trump said, warning that it would be "very bad" for Canada and Mexico if no deal could be reached among the three countries.

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SPD leader Andrea Nahles accused Trump of turning the G7 summit into a disaster with his tweets and bowing out of his global responsibilities.

The president also spoke at length about trade policy, which has been a contentious issue at the G7 gathering.

Trudeau said he told Trump that readmitting Russian Federation "is not something that we are even remotely looking at at this time".

"We commit to modernize the WTO to make it more fair as soon as possible".

Trump is not the first politician to make the realpolitik argument that Russian Federation belongs at the G-7 table, but his position is a turnabout from the Obama administration, which condemned the 2014 annexation and imposed sanctions on Russian Federation as punishment.

"His message from Quebec to Singapore is that he is going to meld the industrial democracies to his will - and bring back Russian Federation", said Steve Bannon, Trump's former campaign and White House adviser.

Arizona Republican Senator John McCain tweeted a message to allies, saying the U.S.is pro-free trade and "Americans stand with you, even if our president doesn't".

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