Trump Orders Officials Not to Endorse G-7's Final Statement
Jun 10, 2018, 03:30
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the tariffs on the former two countries were due to a lack of progress in NAFTA talks.
Instead, just hours before what's expected to be a combative Canadian debut at the G7 summit, Trump fired off a series of angry tweets directed at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, French President Emmanuel Macron and the European Union on trade issues.
This is how British Prime Minister Theresa May described Trump's latest tariffs on steel and aluminum coming out of Europe. He says "we're not looking to play games".
There was little expectation of a major breakthrough at the summit - held in the mountainous Quebec village of La Malbaie - on trade given Mr. Trump's temperament and long-held protectionist ideology, but the President insisted he got along well with Mr. Trudeau and other leaders who stood up to him.
"I think it would be an asset to have Russian Federation back in, I think it would be good for the world, I think it would be good for Russian Federation, I think it would be good for the United States, I think it would be good for all the countries of the current G7".
Trump also repeated an earlier proposal that US trading partners should drop all trade barriers, including tariffs and subsidies to industries and producers in their own countries. "They understand. They're trying to act like, "Well, we fought with you in the wars" but they don't mention the fact that they have trade barriers against our farmers, they don't mention the fact that they're charging nearly 300-per-cent tariffs".
Speaking before leaving the G-7 summit in Quebec, Trump said one of the countries is agreeable to it while the other is more concerned about the impact a sunset clause would have on long-term investment.
The U.S. president's personal attack on the prime minister heightened the potential for confrontation when the two leaders have their first face-to-face meeting in Canada on Friday after Trump's arrival.
"I blame our leaders and I congratulate leaders of other countries for taking advantage of our leaders", Trump said.
The president has been a disruptive force for the worldwide trading order, insisting other countries move to reduce barriers he said have left the US with a trade deficit of more than $800 billion.
The communique said the leaders of the United States, Canada, Britain, France, Italy, Germany and Japan agreed on the need for "free, fair, and mutually beneficial trade" and the importance of fighting protectionism.
Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, a frequent critic of the president on foreign policy, also tweeted, "No, Russia should not be added to the G-7".
Meanwhile, the European Union - the world's largest trading bloc - announced last week it would impose retaliatory tariffs on the US beginning in July, over Washington's duties on steel and aluminum imports from Europe. "Our Tariffs are in response to his of 270% on dairy!"
"I don't know if there was surprise with president Trump's free trade proclamation but they certainly listened to it and we had lengthy discussions about that", Trump's economic advisor Larry Kudlow said.
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A few days ago, the Trump dispensation slapped stiff tariffs on steel and aluminum imports on five of its six G7 partners. Under Trump, the US has sanctioned several Russians close to President Vladimir Putin and his circle.
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