G7 leaders defend summit after Trump disowns free trade communique

by Abel Hampton June 13, 2018, 4:11
G7 leaders defend summit after Trump disowns free trade communique

"Putin is giving Trump talking points and actions to take to help undermine the very country he is from".

Not to be outdone, Trump responded on Twitter saying that both Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau "are charging the US massive tariffs and create non-monetary barriers".

Canada, the summit host and the nation that has borne much of the brunt of Trump's trade fusillades in recent days, is holding out hope that progress can be made on less controversial issues such as gender equality and economic growth.

Mr. Trump fired back with a message on Twitter that said, "Please tell Prime Minister Trudeau and President Macron that they are charging the USA massive tariffs and create nonmonetary barriers".

Although Trump says his tariffs are necessary to protect USA industry and workers, Canada and the European Union have denounced them as illegal.

Trade dominated the two-day summit that began on Friday with leaders of Germany, France, Japan, Canada, Britain and Italy returning to the topic repeatedly in meetings, at a lavish dinner and by a fireside pit late into the evening.

"A hands-down public relations triumph for Germany", news weekly Der Spiegel said on its website of the picture that for most of the weekend seemed to capture the world's imagination.

"We finished the meeting, really, everybody was happy, and I agreed to sign something", Trump told reporters at a news conference following his summit with Kim Jong-un in Singapore. Some countries have retaliated with their own levies on USA imports.

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said her country "will not change its mind when it comes to the illegal" application of tariffs.

Mr. Trump's dismissal of tensions among the G-7 run counter to the strong disagreement among the leaders at an afternoon session on the economy and trade Friday, that saw Mr. Trump pitted against the six other countries, according to a person familiar with the deliberations.

A Canadian official said Trump and Trudeau discussed accelerating NAFTA talks. "Maybe we can help", in a tart reference to alleged collusion between Russian President Vladimir Putin's government and the Trump team to influence the United States presidential election.

In early 2014, Russia executed what the BBC has called "the smoothest invasion of modern times" when pro-Russian gunmen attacked a Ukrainian army base, then flooded Russian military bases with troops, eventually sealing off the Black Sea peninsula from the rest of Ukraine.

Merkel said there was a broad agreement among G7 leaders that tariffs and other trade barriers should be reduced. Both Moscow and Trump have denied the allegations.

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