G7 leaders set to clash with combative Trump over tariffs, trade

Macron and Trump      Andrew Harnik  AP

Macron and Trump Andrew Harnik AP

European leaders criticize the USA decision to impose protectionist tariffs on steel and aluminum and to exit the Iran nuclear deal and the Paris climate agreement.

The French president spent the day meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other Canadian officials ahead of the June 8-9 summit in La Malbaie, Quebec.

Earlier in the press service of the White house stated that the President of the United States Donald trump is going alone to talk with Macron in the framework of the G7 meeting: "there Are important bilateral meetings".

The reading significantly undershot a Reuters poll of analysts, who had predicted a 0.8 per cent rise.

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Not to be undone, Trump responded on Twitter saying that both Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau "are charging the US massive tariffs and create non-monetary barriers".

President Trump is heading up to Canada for the G-7 summit on Friday. "The impact on Canada and ultimately on workers in the US won't be a laughing matter".

"Please tell Prime Minister Trudeau and President Macron that they are charging the USA massive tariffs and create non-monetary barriers", Trump tweeted.

In response to the Trump administration's 25% tariff on steel and 10% on aluminum, Trudeau intends to hit the US with his own 25% steel tariff as well as a 10% tariff on consumer goods from the U.S.

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Trump, who met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Washington before the summit, may be more preoccupied with next week's historic nuclear summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Several of them, including Canadian Prime Minster Justin Trudeau, have threatened retaliatory tariffs. The Trump administration has also clashed with Canada over his insistence that the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement involving the United States, Canada and Mexico be written to better serve the U.S. It is been reported that, in a phone call between the two leaders, Mr Trump wrongly accused Canada of "burning down the White House in 1812" as partial justification. "The countries have to remain polite as the U.S. is an ally and we need them".

Trump's top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, was vague Wednesday on the outcome of the summit, saying: "For these kind of decisions, let them meet first".

Trump doesn't plan on withdrawing from NAFTA, but he wants to try a different approach, Kudlow said, adding that his boss "hates multilateral" treaties. "The six countries of the G7 without the United States, are a bigger market taken together than the American market". But even though he has made his criticism of globalization a major part of his appeal to voters, Trump was the main target of a protest by around 400 demonstrators on Thursday night who set fire to U.S. and other G7 flags. Trump may have less to fear than slow-growing Europe and Japan from a trade war in terms of economic losses if the "G6" pushes back on tariffs.

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