UPDATE: US refuses to endorse G7 statement, Europe reacts negatively

UPDATE 2 — 6/10, 6:06 p.m. EDT: Following President Trump’s announcement Saturday evening the U.S. would not sign a joint statement endorsing the latest G7 Summit, French and German political leaders responded they are disappointed but not surprised by the action.

“International cooperation cannot be dictated by fits of anger and throwaway remarks,” a statement by Emmanuel Macron’s presidential office read. “Let’s be serious and worthy of our people.”

Prior to Trump’s tweet in which he accused Justin Trudeau of publicly lying after the prime minister said all seven member nations had endorsed the communique, Trudeau described the international meeting as “very successful,” with the caveat that Canada would level tariffs against any country which imposed an excise tax on metals against any ally countries.

 

UPDATE — 6/9, 12:37 p.m. EDT: Speaking to the press Saturday morning from the G7 Summit in Quebec, Canada, President Trump announced prior to his departure that he suggested to the group of six other economically advanced nations “no tariffs” be leveled by any member, but reiterated the U.S. “has been taken advantage of for decades and decades,” in international trade.

“You go tariff-free, you go barrier-free, you go subsidy free,” he said. “I did suggest it and people I guess were going to go back to the drawing board.”

Despite his public comments, a French official at the conference said Trump’s privately targeted Canada and the EU as the greatest offenders in taking advantage of U.S. on the trading market.

 

In a signal the air of civility surrounding the 44th annual G7 summit could be reduced to the airing of grievances, French President Emmanuel Macron warned President Trump the annual meeting of industrialized nations could proceed without the U.S. in the future.

Speaking to reporters at a joint press conference on Parliament Hill in Ontario in which the two world leaders took aim at Trump’s tariffs, Macron told reporters:

“Maybe the American president doesn’t care about being isolated today, but we don’t mind being six, if needs be. Because these six represent values, represent an economic market, and more than anything, represent a real force at the international level today. The six countries of the G7 without the United States, are a bigger market taken together than the American market.“

Some European Union (EU) countries and Canada have expressed concern over U.S. leadership after President Trump withdrew from the Paris climate accord, the Iran nuclear deal, and the erected stiff tariffs on imported steel and aluminum products.

Harnessing more specific language, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau followed President Macron’s comments and lamented the rise of Trump’s protectionist policies:

“There will be frank and sometimes difficult discussions around the G7 table, particularly with the US president on tariffs.”

Trump has argued the recently-imposed tariffs on imported aluminum and steel are a matter of U.S. national security. Canadian and EU leaders have countered the levies amount to a trade war and disrupt global economic harmony.

Despite the friction with Trump, both men broadcast optimism Trump would eventually cave on the tariffs over strong domestic pressure, some of which indicates public opinion stands in opposition to the new duties.

In a string of tweets over the past 24 hours, Mr. Trump showed no sign of backing down, blasting both Macron and Trudeau for concealing excessive tariffs on products imported from the U.S.

In a separate statement, President Trump told reporters the G7 should readmit Russia following its suspension after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014. The Kremlin had no immediate comment on Mr. Trump’s show of support, but in a press release Moscow hinted it was examining alternatives to the G7.

On Friday, as the spat between Macron, Trudeau, and Trump receded, the White House announced Trump would leave the conference early on Saturday for his face-to-face meeting in Singapore with North Korea’s dictator, Kim Jong-un.

A two-day summit, the largest seven advanced economies in the world will meet in Quebec, Canada, June 8–9.

 

[BBC] [The Independent] [New York Post] [Reuters] [Washington Post] [Photo courtesy Getty/AFP via The Express]

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