Trump turns tables on G7 allies with free trade `proclamation'

Trump turns tables on G7 allies with free trade `proclamation'

On Thursday, Trump traded barbs with French President Emmanuel Macron after Macron suggested that the G7 nations would band together without the U.S. On Twittter, Trump also called Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau "indignant" for his country's trade practices.

Last week, however, steel and aluminum tariffs on imports from Mexico, Canada, and the European Union finally went into effect.

Trump knew, of course, that other G7 members don't want to eliminate all tariffs, just the new U.S. ones they see as potentially damaging to their economies. I mean, we have India, where some of the tariffs are 100 per cent ... Right now, we are not going to live with the deals the way they are.

"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".

"President Trump wants nothing less than wiping out Canadian dairy farming".

The tensions surrounding the tariffs underscore what appears to be a growing distance between the USA and its allies over Trump's isolationist policies, including his decisions to withdraw from the Paris climate accord in 2017 and the Iran nuclear deal in May.

While it was only the Italian prime minister who agreed with Trump, British PM Theresa May recognised the importance of engaging with Russian Federation, but she said the country would have to make changed before readmission could be discussed.

"The United States has been taken advantage of for decades and decades", he continued, describing America as a "piggy bank that everyone keeps robbing". "It was a hard time, rough, very frank".

Trump is heading to the G7 Summit in Quebec, Canada with almost every other attendee mad at him.

Before jumping on Air Force One to fly to Canada, which is hosting the summit in La Malbaie north of Quebec City, Trump called for a return to the body's pre-2014 "G8" formula.

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A photograph taken shows just how tight the handshake was, with Trump's hand left with a white mark.

But what is the G7, and why is the outlook for this year's meeting so glum?

Merkel said there was broad agreement among G7 leaders that tariffs and other trade barriers should be reduced, though she acknowledged that differences with the United States remained.

Trump also defended his recent imposition of punishing steel and aluminum tariffs was based on legitimate national security concerns, and said he stood firm against the concerns of his fellow G7 leaders during their talks.

He said: "I have been Russia's worst nightmare".

The confrontation over USA tariffs on steel and aluminum threatened to rupture the G7, which during its 43-year history has traditionally sought to find consensus on the economy and other issues.

The spat has financial markets anxious about tit-for-tit escalation that could lead to a full-blown global trade war.

The tit-for-tat dispute over US metals tariffs followed more than a year of tense and so far unsuccessful negotiations to renew NAFTA and a long and failed charm offensive by Trudeau and top Canadian officials to avoid Trump's trade ire. Canada and Mexico, the other members of the 1994 pact, have been frustrated by the slow pace of talks to renegotiate NAFTA.

"It's a one-time shot and I think it's going to work out very well", Trump told reporters during a lengthy press briefing at the conclusion of the G7 meeting in Quebec on Saturday afternoon.

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