June 21, 2018

US Representatives Told by Trump to Not Endorse G7 'False Statements' Communique

10 June 2018, 09:11 | Melvin Schneider

One 'rant,' rough talks sour G7 mood in confrontations with Trump

Trump Attacks Trudeau, Macron, Allies Ahead of G7 Summit: 'Won't Be Talking About the Russian Witch Hunt Hoax for a While'

Leaving the Group of Seven Summit for Singapore, President Trump tweeted that he has instructed USA representatives to not endorse a joint communique issued by the G-7 leaders.

"PM Justin Trudeau of Canada acted so meek and mild during our @G7 meetings only to give a news conference after I left saying that, "US Tariffs were kind of insulting" and he 'will not be pushed around.' Very dishonest & weak".

"We have a tremendous trade imbalance", Trump said during Saturday's press conference. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did not wait for the USA president to kick off the meeting in La Malbaie, Quebec.

Earlier, Trudeau had told reporters that Trump's decision to invoke national security to justify United States tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum was "kind of insulting" to Canadian veterans who had stood by their U.S. allies in conflicts dating back to World War I. "I'll be honest with you, they have no choice", Trump said. Trump left the summit early for Singapore, where he will meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un next week.

It was not immediately clear where the new round of aggression would leave the two leaders and their mercurial attempts to find trade peace.

Trump cited progress on reaching an agreement on the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico, saying the final outcome would lead either to an improved trade deal or separate pacts with the two USA neighbours. The result of the WTO ruling is that Canada is not allowed to export much dairy. Morneau said progress is being made, but more work needs to be done to conclude the negotiations.

One source described Friday's meeting as a "frank" airing of grievances in a "non-emotional setting", adding that Trump appeared surprised that Canada had responded so vehemently to the USA tariffs.

"Canadians, we're polite, we're reasonable, but we also will not be pushed around", he added.

In Quebec City early on Sunday, Trudeau declined to answer reporters' questions about the aftermath of the two-day G7 summit in Quebec.

European officials said Trump had tried to water down the language in the draft communique on the WTO and rules-based trade.

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"I did suggest it and people were - I guess they're going to go back to the drawing board and check it out", Trump said. "It is going to stop or we are going to stop trading with them".

The president said the ideal situation would be a completely free trade system with the other G-7 nations - Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Canada.

Speaking at his closing news conference, Trudeau says the G7 has agreed to an "ambitious" communique - but he did not immediately release a document or provide details of where the exclusive club of wealthy democracies found common ground. "If steps are not taken, the penalties would be severe", Trump said.

Disagreement over the sunset clause was the deal breaker that scuttled a possible meeting between Trump and Trudeau in Washington late last month in an attempt to bring the NAFTA talks to a conclusion.

Trudeau addressed Trump by his first name off the top of their meeting and offered warm greetings.

The topic of trade has held a shadow over the G7 meeting, which started Friday in Charlevoix, Que.

"Simply put, the European Union invests more in the United States, buys more American services and employs more American workers than the other way around", the letter states.

Despite the differences, Mr Trudeau announced that the leaders had managed to agree a joint communique at the summit which highlighted the importance of "free, fair and mutually beneficial trade and investment" and said the G7 would "continue to fight protectionism".

"Don't blame Trump. It was Trudeau who started blasting Trump after he left, after the deals had been made". "I think it would be good to have Russian Federation back in". "I'm not looking to play that game".

Trump has long stated a preference for two-way trade accords.

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