Trump's points of friction with G7 leaders

Hugh Fox
June 8, 2018

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. He engaged him on Twitter.

In a second tweet Thursday evening, Trump said Trudeau "is being so indignant, bringing up the relationship that the US and Canada had over the many years and all sorts of other things".

Donald Trump will fly headlong into a confrontation with some of America's closest allies today, as the row over tariffs and fears of a trade war continue to intensify. "Because these 6 countries represent values, they represent an economic market which has the weight of history behind it and which is now a true global force", Macron tweeted out.

After the contentious salvos on social media and the Trudeau-Macron news conference, the White House announced Trump would depart the summit at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, following the session on women's empowerment.

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Canada's Trade Minister Francois Philippe Champagne called the recently introduced U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum "an attack on the world economic order". "Look forward to seeing them tomorrow".

The French president expressed support for Trump in his expected summit with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, but also warned his abrogation last month of a 2015 multilateral deal on the Iranian nuclear programme had cast doubt on the credibility of such agreements.

At a press conference with Israeli president Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, Macron was asked about reports that he told Trump the president's decision to place tariffs on the exports of US allies was "illegal" and a "mistake".

Later, Trump tweeted, "Take down your tariffs & barriers or we will more than match you!"

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Rounding out the Australian contingent is Cameron Smith, whose 72 left him at three over and is likely to miss the weekend. Jason Day, who has never finished better than 15th at the Memorial, had another 68 and was three back.

"Because we want President Trump to be strong and successful in his negotiation with North Korea, we want the worldwide community to be credible on the Iranian nuclear program".

The globalised economy they helped build had both winners and losers but, until Trump's election, the United States was seen as the system's uncontested leader and a major beneficiary.

Macron made clear Thursday that the other six countries wouldn't hesitate to go it alone. British Prime Minister Theresa May urged the European Union to stick to World Trade Organization rules and to ensure that any response to the tariffs was proportionate. Washington has threatened tariffs on imports of Chinese goods unless Beijing stops stealing American companies' intellectual property.

Expectations for a resolution of the trade row are low after finance leaders from the United States' G7 partners butted heads with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin at a meeting last week in the Canadian resort town of Whistler, British Columbia. Mr Trump's singling out of Germany's vehicle sector for criticism in his gripes about the United States trade deficit hardly helped matters either.

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It comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow hopes a summit between the two helps defuse tensions. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders referred to the June 12 summit as the "first meeting".

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