June 21, 2018

Donald Trump calls for end to Russian expulsion from G7 grouping

09 June 2018, 06:16 | Melvin Schneider

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel said earlier that Russia's return to the club was out of the question.

G-7 members are likely to take the opportunity in Quebec to address economic concerns with President Trump, as numerous countries are impacted by recent trade policy decisions the administration has made.

Russian Federation was expelled from what had been the G-8 in 2014 following its annexation of Crimea.

"But we see no sign of that in this action today by the USA administration", Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau noted tartly last week, after the White House chose to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imported from its northern neighbor.

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

Trump also repeatedly insists that the U.S. runs a large trade deficit with Canada, importing more goods from that country than it sells to its northern neighbor.

European and North American leaders have privately and publicly scolded the U.S. over trade tariffs placed on aluminium and steel this month. "It will start first of all to hurt U.S. workers".

Despite the conflict, Mallaby predicted that the countries would still seek to work with the U.S., calling it "the indispensable country".

Donald Trump, feeling short of allies among his country's closest friends, called for Vladimir Putin to be let back into the G7 club.

In one of his first foreign policy statements, Italy's new Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said that Russian Federation should return to the G8.

Officials from the European Union also attend the meetings.

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the leaders would air their unhappiness in what he called a polite cordial context and expressed optimism about the summit.

When Trudeau complained to Trump about the new tariffs he slapped on Canadian goods, saying he was especially upset that the pretext Trump used was that Canada formed a "national security threat" to the US, Trump replied, "didn't you guys burn down the White House?"

The German government was not the only ally to lash out at the United States president before the Canada meeting.

He will miss the final session on climate change on Saturday and instead fly directly from Charlevoix to Singapore to meet the leader of North Korea in a much-anticipated summit.

But at the G7 summit in Canada, the physical bonhomie between the two leaders was pared back, signalling tensions that boiled over publicly just before the meeting. Other members of the Group of Seven are France, Italy, Japan, Germany and Britain. The EU is also attending the summit. Trump is set to hold a series of group and one-on-one meetings, including with Trudeau and Macron. His predecessors pressed for freer global trade and championed a trading system that required countries to follow World Trade Organization rules. Three days after taking office, Trump formally withdrew the USA from another such landmark deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which the Obama administration negotiated with 11 Pacific rim nations.

G7 chiefs have largely praised Mr Trump for his efforts to stabilise the Korean peninsula, but they are unhappy he pulled out of an worldwide agreement to limit Iran's nuclear ambitions. A statement from the G7 finance ministers specifically called out the U.S. for its policies.

Macron has made clear if talks don't lead to compromise, the other six leaders would be willing to sign a joint communique by the end of the summit without the U.S. But the president's focus may be divided. "Maybe it doesn't bother the American president to be isolated, but it doesn't bother us to be six if need be". And they met again late this afternoon.

Donald Trumps's decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal also demonstrated his reluctance to toe the line of his allies. Macron called the recent US move to impose steel and aluminum tariffs on European Union allies "illegal and a mistake".

And he promised a "frank and direct discussion" with Trump in Canada.

As those negotiations have stalled, discussions between Canada and US turned more pointed.

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