Sunday, 24 June, 2018

In bombshell, Trump says U.S. backs out of G7 communique, criticises Trudeau

Donald Trump at the White House IFTAR dinner EPADonald Trump said he will'fight at the G7 Summit 2018
Jay Anderson | 10 June, 2018, 05:13

President Donald Trump threw the G-7 summit into disarray Saturday, tweeting that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is "dishonest & weak" and that the US was pulling back its endorsement of the group's communique in part because of what he called Trudeau's "false statements" at a news conference.

President Donald Trump leaves the main building alongside White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders during the G7 Summit on June 9, 2018 in Quebec City, Canada.

In a followup tweet, Trump targeted Trudeau again, saying he "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'". Trump, in a Twitter tirade on Thursday, pointed fingers at Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and French president Emmanuel Macron, stating that "they are charging the USA massive tariffs and create non-monetary barriers". To United States, frankly, it would be a good thing but I'm not looking to do that. "With one country we have $375 billion in trade deficits". He added that he did not blame G7 leaders for the "unfair" trade deals.

Mr Trump made the comments after the communique had already been officially released in response to a press conference held by Justin Trudeau to mark the close of the summit. He said he expressed to Trump "that Canadians did not take it lightly that the United States has moved forward with significant tariffs on our steel and aluminum industry".

Alluding to the tensions as he sat with Macron on Friday, Trump said: "We've had, really, a very good relationship, very special".

"We're the piggy bank that everybody is robbing. Our tariffs are in response to his of 270 per cent on dairy!"

He also denied the summit had been contentious, a remark that contradicted what one G7 official described as an " extraordinary" exchange on Friday in which Trump repeated a list of trade grievances, mainly concerning the European Union and Canada.




"The nature of the debate we had was rather appeasement and it stopped the escalation in terms of behavior", Macron, who had exchanged terse Twitter messages with Trump in the run-up to the summit, told reporters.

On Saturday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sniped about "stragglers" after Trump was late to a breakfast session on gender equality.

Trump is hoping to get Kim to agree to shut down his nuclear weapons programme in what will be a monumental win for the president who previous year was locked in a war of words with Kim that some feared would escalate into a world war.

"For us, it was important to have a commitment to rules-based trade", Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel said.

Trump insisted that either version of the any future North American trade deal must have one key feature - a five-year sunset clause.

Trump left the summit early for Singapore, where he will meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un next week.

Trump had already said he would not hesitate to shut countries out of the United States market if they retaliate to his tariffs.

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