Italy's Conte wants G8 with Russia, not quick end to sanctions

Arturo Kim
June 10, 2018

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

Exiting a world summit with characteristic bravado, President Donald Trump delivered a stark warning Saturday to America's trading partners not to counter his decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

French President Emmanuel Macron's office on Sunday stressed the need for calm heads after the G7 summit ended in a fiasco in the Canadian town of Charlevoix.

A picture of US President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel displaying less-than-friendly body language is turning out to be a defining image of the contentious meeting of the Group of Seven leaders of the world's advanced economies.

Echoing Trudeau, British Prime Minister Theresa May said Saturday that the European Union also will impose countermeasures to the U.S. tariffs.

The Trump administration announced two weeks ago that it would investigate whether auto imports hurt USA national security, the first step toward tariffs similar to the ones he imposed on steel and aluminum imports last week. The noise of Mr Trump's helicopter landing was so loud they had to stop talking for a while, in a scene one official compared to the opening from the USA television series M.A.S.H.

Donald Trump's G7 press conference in La Malbaie, Que. on Saturday was certainly interesting, to say the least.

He said that other countries were imposing "massive tariffs" on the US.

Going into the summit, Mr Trump was at odds with other leaders on issues such as trade, Iran and climate change.

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The text of the annual G7 joint communique is usually all but finalized before the leaders meet for two days of glad-handing and group photo opportunities, but this year officials were still negotiating even as Trump headed for his plane. "The EU trade surplus with the United States is $151bn, and Canada keeps our farmers and others out".

Many U.S. lawmakers, both Republicans and Democrats, have also expressed concern about Trump's departure from past U.S. views on trade, Russia, and the global order.

"The EU - of course, we operate as a member of the EU, as we now are - the European Union will impose countermeasures to the United States", May said.

The statement made no reference to Russian Federation being invited back into the G7, but the leaders did say they would continue "to engage with Russian Federation on addressing regional crises and global challenges, where it is in our interests".

Calling his Asian trip a "mission of peace", Trump told reporters, "I think it's gonna to work very well".

"Let's say Canada, where we have tremendous tariffs. But you have to ask that question to President Obama", Trump said.

"What this will look like in 2018 and potentially beyond is a more and more economically and politically isolated America, but the rest of the world is pretty much carrying on to the best of its ability just without the USA".

Meanwhile, next year's G7 host French President Emmanuel Macron said the group remains committed to its core values, with or without the U.S.

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