Saturday, 23 June, 2018

G7 divides to G6 plus Trump over trade war threat

President Trump speaks on the phone with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in the Oval Office on Jan. 28 2017 President Trump speaks on the phone with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in the Oval Office on Jan. 28 2017
Russell Knight | 10 June, 2018, 14:51

US President Donald Trump dramatically withdrew his endorsement of a joint statement at the end of a G7 summit in Canada Saturday in a row over trade, accusing the summit's chairman Justin Trudeau of dishonesty.

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

"Canadians are polite and reasonable but we will not be pushed around", Trudeau told reporters on Saturday.

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".

The group of seven nations that make up the G7 are Canada, France, the U.S., the UK, Germany, Japan and Italy. "The U.S. pays tremendous tariffs on dairy, as an example, 270 per cent. we don't want to pay anything, why should we pay anything?"

The outburst suggested that any deal had collapsed and his more or less explicit threat to impose sanctions on imports of cars will outrage his ostensible allies - in particular Germany and Canada who produce many for the large USA market. "Very dishonest and weak", Trump said.

It also covered other issues including relations with Russian Federation.

"I have made it very clear to the President that it is not something we relish doing, but it something that we absolutely will do", Trudeau said.

Mrs May said: "Where we disagree with our allies on something it is right that we say so and air the issue openly and frankly".

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The bombshell tweet came after G7 nations appeared to have papered over the cracks in their alliance at the two-day summit in La Malbaie, Quebec, where Trump defiantly brandished his "America First" agenda.

The G-7 became the G-8 in 1997, when Russian Federation became a member along with Britain, Germany, Italy, Canada, the United States, France and Japan.

In the USA, special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating whether Trump's campaign colluded with Russian Federation in a bid to sway the 2016 presidential election in his favor.

Trump left the summit early headed for his meeting with the leader of North Korea next Tuesday.

Trump said he doesn't blame foreign leaders for the state of the trading relationship, instead laying blame on past USA presidents who have entered into deals that, he asserts, have enriched allies while hollowing out American industry. "It's going to stop, or we'll stop trading", he said.

Trump, who angered Washington's top allies last week when he imposed tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from Canada, the European Union and Mexico, issued a broad indictment of global trade, with swipes at the G7 and India.

Ahmad added: "The prime minister said nothing he hasn't said before - both in public, and in private conversations with the president". But in 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin alarmed world leaders after moving troops into eastern Ukraine and taking over Crimea.

Vice President Mike Pence told Trudeau he would have to agree to that before Trump would agree to meet him.

"For us, it was important to have a commitment to rules-based trade", Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel said, before Trump's comments.

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