G7 leaders set to clash with combative Trump over tariffs, trade

Rodiano Bonacci
Giugno 9, 2018

The summit - its main themes this year being women's empowerment and climate change - brought U.S. President Donald Trump to Canada for the first time. The White House said he would leave the two-day summit in Canada four hours earlier than originally planned.

"Looking forward to straightening out unfair Trade Deals with the G-7 countries".

"We are going to do very well".

Canada and Mexico, the other members of NAFTA, have been frustrated by what they see as unacceptable USA demands in slow-moving talks to modernize the deal.

The recent USA decision to impose import steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada, Mexico and the European Union, and others, is expected to be a "front and center" issue at the Group of Seven (G7) summit that will begin on Friday in Quebec, a former Canadian prime minister said on Thursday.

"We aren't talking enough about Africa", said Martin, who as Canadian finance minister proposed the idea of a G20 in 1999 with the support of then U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers.

Officials have conceded the mood at the summit will likely be exceptionally tense.

Although Trump says the tariffs are necessary to protect US industry, Canada and the European Union have denounced them as illegal and are preparing retaliatory measures.

USA stock indexes opened lower on Friday partly due to investor nervousness over the G7 summit. On Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted about President Trump's "isolation" and said the other members of the Group of Seven would be ready to sign a six-country agreement "if need be".

British Prime Minister Theresa May took a more measured tone, telling reporters she wanted the European Union to use restraint in retaliation against US tariffs and that the response must be proportionate and legal. Among his shots is criticism of Canada for unfairly charging tariffs on dairy products shipped to the US.

Speaking to reporters before leaving for his meeting in Singapore with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Trump tried to downplay any notion that the meeting in Canada was contentious.

While the G7 leaders have largely praised Trump for his efforts to stabilize the Korean peninsula, they are unhappy he pulled out of an agreement created to limit Iran's nuclear ambitions.

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