Published: Mon, June 11, 2018
World Media | By Cesar Oliver

Trump rails against 'unfair' trade at G7 leaders summit

Trump rails against 'unfair' trade at G7 leaders summit

The agenda after Trump's departure on Saturday includes sessions on climate change and clean energy and oceans; meetings with leaders from countries outside the G-7, and the closing press conference by the summit's host, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The summit is being held in a luxury resort in the French-speaking province of Quebec, more than two hours' drive away from the provincial capital which is where journalists and demonstrators have been largely restricted to.

Trump also said Trudeau was being "indignant" about the cross-border trade relationship.

Macron is to huddle with Britain's Theresa May, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italy's new Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte ahead of their talks with Trump, as Europe seeks to forge a common approach.

French President Emmanuel Macron, who has invested in a warm personal relationship with Trump, said the other G7 nations - Britain, Canada, Germany, Italy and Japan, as well as France - should remain "polite" and productive but warned that "no leader is forever", a sign that Europe would not surrender meekly to the United States president.

"As Canadians, we are polite, we're reasonable, but also we will not be pushed around", Trudeau said, and he described all seven leaders coming together to sign a joint declaration despite having "some strong, firm conversations on trade, and specifically on American tariffs". He reiterated his longstanding view that the U.S. has been taken advantage of in global trade, adding, "We're like the piggy bank that everybody's robbing, and that ends". "It's going to stop now or we'll stop trading with them (other nations)".

"Our values and interests are built through multilateralism, including American interests", Macron said in a tweet.

"The G7 is an opportunity for us to get together and have frank, open discussions among nations who have always been allies and friends", Macron told reporters, with Trudeau at his side. Pleas by the other member countries for exemptions from the U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs, which went into effect on 1 June, have fallen on deaf ears.

Aides to the president and to Trudeau declined to comment when contacted by CNN.

Mr Altmaier also underlined the importance of European unity on free trade and economic interests, especially since domestic debate was continuing in the United States about punitive sanctions imposed by Mr Trump on G7 allies.

His plea for unity may fail, even within the European Union.

Trump appeared to have taken notice and pushed back: "Please tell Prime Minister Trudeau and President Macron that they are charging the US massive tariffs and create non-monetary barriers", Trump said in a tweet.

Canada and the European Union have denounced the US tariffs as illegal and unjustified and Ottawa has proposed levies on a range of USA goods next month while the European Union has pledged its own retaliatory measures.

Speaking on Saturday during a rare solo news conference, Trump said he pressed for the G-7 countries to eliminate all tariffs, trade barriers and subsidies in their trading practices. Intense diplomacy from Europe to save an worldwide nuclear agreement with Iran also failed.

Trump has also told China, the world's second largest economy, to cut its massive trade surplus with the United States. Washington has threatened tariffs on imports of Chinese goods unless Beijing stops stealing American companies' intellectual property. "Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors requested that the United States Secretary of the Treasury communicate their unanimous concern and disappointment".

Financial markets around the world were battered by Trump's trade threats.

Fears of a looming trade war were heightened last week after all the G7 nations announced plans to retaliate against Trump's tariffs with tariffs of their own.

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