Disputes over trade tariffs, Russian Federation overshadow G7 meeting

McCain Trump “diminishing America’s leadership”

McCain Trump “diminishing America’s leadership”

"I think it would be good for the world, I think it would be good for Russian Federation, I think it would be good for the United States", Trump said.

US President Donald Trump at G7 Summit.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau said that message was communicated clearly to Trump during his meetings at the G7 summit with fellow leaders, and in his face-to-face talk with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Host Canada and its European allies are striving to hold together a united front to oppose Trump's tariffs on aluminum, steel, cars and other exports, but global stock markets are rattled.

"We will continue to demonstrate that we're interested in defending Canadian interests and, on top of that, it turns out I'm defending American interests because these tariffs they're putting forward are going to hurt American workers as well", Trudeau said Thursday.

Trump told reporters in Quebec before leaving the Group of Seven summit that he "came up with the term fake news" because much of the US press "is very dishonest". "Let us look at history: isolationism is bad for the American people".

Trump appeared to have taken notice and pushed back: "Please tell Prime Minister Trudeau and President Macron that they are charging the US massive tariffs and create non-monetary barriers", Trump said in a tweet.

Trump often appeared more interested in the unprecedented summit he will hold Tuesday with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, where he said he looks forward to sizing up both Kim and the potential for ending one of the worlds most unsafe nuclear standoffs.

Speaking at a news conference on Saturday morning, Trump demanded that G-7 countries drastically reduce trade barriers for the USA or risk losing access to the world's largest economy.

And at the same time, the USA president seems more at home with autocrats than with Washington's traditional allies.

Now Emmanuel Macron has left a firm impression on Donald Trump in their latest squeezing contest.

"They do so much more business with us, than we do with them, that we can't lose", Trump said, adding: "The numbers are so astronomically against them". Canada has countered with a plan to impose tariffs of its own on US metals and other consumer goods.

Canada and European leaders were enraged, vowed to retaliate, and delivered a number of jabs at the president ahead of the G7 summit.

The six-plus-one tone of the gathering in Quebec means the leaders from Canada, Britain, the United States, France, Germany Italy and Japan are unlikely to issue a joint statement, too sharply divided on trade or the environment to reach consensus.

Vice President Mike Pence told Trudeau he would have to agree to that before Trump would agree to meet him.

Trump's deteriorating relationships with Trudeau and Macron - both of whom he has previously lavished with praise - come as the US finds itself increasingly isolated from key allies over Trump's isolationist policies, including his decisions to pull out of the Paris climate agreement and to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal. He and Trudeau discussed the notion of a bilateral deal when they met Friday, according to a White House statement. He said gender equality must "cut through" everything the G-7 does.

Trump contends that other countries "have been taking advantage of the United States on trade".

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