Published: Fri, June 08, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Trump Scorns 'Unfair Trade' at G-7, Maps Plan to Exit Early

So great is the rift between traditional allies that some observers have suggested renaming the G7 summit the G6+1 - and Macron said they should not hesitate to reach agreements without Trump.

The G7 groups Canada, the United States, Japan, Britain, Italy, France and Germany.

Trump, who has recently clashed with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over his decision to impose tariffs on imports of Canadian steel and aluminum, accused Trudeau of gouging the USA with his own tariffs. He could turn out to be one of the friendliest faces for Trump at Charlevoix as his new populist government also stands for protectionist trade policies. He was making a passing reference to the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections and possible collusion with Trump's presidential campaign.

"The American President may not mind being isolated", Macron wrote on Twitter, "but neither do we mind signing a 6 nation agreement if need be".

In a second tweet Thursday evening, Trump said Trudeau "is being so indignant, bringing up the relationship that the US and Canada had over the many years and all sorts of other things". The European Union also attends.

But they expressed support for the US president's historic meeting in Singapore with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, scheduled to take place early next week.

"The six other countries of the G7 represent a market which is bigger than the American market", the French president said.

What Macron is saying is that the G7 could become the G6 if the other members chose to exclude Trump.

Rep. Eliot Engel, the Democratic ranking member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, said Trump's invitation to Russian Federation fits into a broader pattern of the president cozying up to President Vladimir Putin.

"Until we can have reciprocal relationships we will not have free trade, and we will not have fair trade", Kudlow said.

"America stands very much alone as they enter this G-7", Heather Conley, director of the Europe program for the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told reporters on a press call.

Leaders were also expected to use the event to raise contentious issues like US participation in the Iran nuclear deal, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and USA participation in global climate treaties.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has predicted the talks at the G-7 on Friday and Saturday will be heated because of the American stance on trade.

Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland questioned the Trump administration's move on CNN.

Critics argue that the growing US isolation is risky at a time when Trump is making diplomatic overtures with North Korea and in the Middle East and could use the support of allies.

Trudeau says he hopes to work through any conflicts.

The tone in the immediate run-up to the meetings at La Malbaie showed no sign of compromise between a USA president determined to disrupt the status quo to force more favourable terms for the United States, and six U.S. allies resolved to stop him.

Lucey and Miller reported from Washington.

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