Departing shots from Trump plunge fractious G7 summit into failure

Hannah Rogers
June 10, 2018

President Donald Trump delivered a stern warning on trade to foreign countries at the Group of Seven summit on Saturday, advising trading partners not to retaliate against USA tariffs on the imports of steel and aluminum.

Christinne Muschi / Reuters U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the press as he leaves the G7 Summit in La Malbaie, Que. on Saturday.

Mr. Trump responded directly to this statement in a tweet Saturday evening, writing that Trudeau "acted so meek and mild" and then held the press conference afterward criticizing the U.S.

"Very dishonest & weak", Trump said, adding that recently imposed USA tariffs on imports of Canadian steel and aluminium were in response to similar measures imposed on American dairy products by Canada.

"The United States has been taken advantage of for decades and decades and we can't do that anymore". "Many of the current discussions about trade, especially with the United States, despite the common commitment, will continue".

Trade dominated the two-day summit that began on Friday with leaders of Germany, France, Japan, Canada, Britain and Italy returning to the topic repeatedly in meetings, at a lavish dinner and by a fireside pit late into the evening.

Trump's counterparts in the G7 had sought this week to try to find some semblance of consensus with Washington on trade and the other key issues that have formed the basis of the 42-year-old grouping of industrialized nations.

Merkel said European Union countries at the summit agreed that the conditions to readmit Russian Federation had not been met and even Moscow seemed to reject the suggestion.

Trump said that would be a bad idea.

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He told the G7 leaders during the summit that the U.S. wanted a quick end to trade practices that he said have led to an exodus of American companies and jobs to other countries.

"President Trump is targeting the dairy sector because he wants to dump US dairy into Canada", Lampron told The Canadian Press, adding that Canada imports five times more dairy from the USA than it exports.

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 United States would "win that war a thousand times out of a thousand".

"Canadians, we're polite, we're reasonable, but we also will not be pushed around", Trudeau said at a news conference.

Trudeau added that he had not agreed to a new North American Free Trade Agreement with a sunset clause.

"We are focused on everything we accomplished here at the G7 summit", the statement, released by Cameron Ahmad, said.

Trump tweeted on his way to Singapore where he is expected to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and appeared, at least on Twitter, optimistic about the outcome.

He said the country won't hesitate to impose its own retaliatory tariffs.

Trump had come to Quebec insisting on his long-standing claim that America has been exploited for too long by existing trade arrangements - and he was met by counterparts equally determined to protect the "rules-based" worldwide system.

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