But on Thursday, European leaders appeared unfazed, using the G7 Summit as a venue for a list-ditch attempt to convince Trump to stay in the climate accord.
With President Donald Trump still reviewing the U.S. position, Washington is resisting intense pressure to commit to remaining within the framework of the 2015 global accord on curbing carbon emissions.
But accusations from USA intelligence agencies that Russia intervened in the U.S. election to help Trump, and investigations into his campaign's contacts with Russian officials, have hung over his four-month-old presidency and prevented him from getting too close to Moscow.
Trump, in addition to partaking in the traditional pomp of the summit being held in a picturesque Sicilian town perched above the Mediterranean Sea, also held one-on-one meetings with the leaders of Japan, the United Kingdom and Germany. "We believe climate change is one of the greatest threats facing Canadians and the world, and it is a threat which is a global threat and which needs global solutions", Freeland said.
The GOP senators sent a two-page letter to the White House saying that remaining in the worldwide agreement signed by Trump's predecessor pledging to reduce carbon emissions could fuel legal challenges to the administration's push to roll back environmental regulations. His trip was closely watched by political observers looking for clues on future U.S. relations with the wider world. While the president was warmly received in Saudi Arabia and Israel, his reception in Europe was been more tepid given his campaign criticisms of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the European Union, the continent's most powerful institutions.
The G7 leaders were planning to sign a communique on Saturday that would outline their joint position on issues including climate change, trade, migration, Russia, and terrorism.More news: Iran slams United States arms deal with Saudi 'dangerous terrorists'
"This is not fair to the people and taxpayers of the United States", Trump said.
Already his administration has taken actions that will make it hard for the U.S.to reach its carbon reduction commitments.
European Union officials are scrambling to persuade US President Donald Trump not pull out of the Paris climate accord after his advisers warned of legal problems if Washington stayed in but lowered its commitments.
PRIME MINISTER THERESA MAY: We had a very good discussion about the importance of this issue of climate change.
Trump will spend Saturday at the second day of the G-7 summit in Sicily, bringing to an end a nine-day trip that started in Saudi Arabia and Israel before moving on to Europe.
Climate change was on the agenda for Friday's opening discussions at the G-7 summit.More news: France's Macron says hopes Trump will finally back climate deal
Cohn said Trump was being critical of a US trade deal with Germany and not the powerful European ally as a whole. "And he wants to clearly hear what the European leaders have to say", said Mr Cohn, director of the National Economic Council.
Yesterday, US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and 21 other Republicans sent a two-page letter to Trump urging him to follow through on his promise. You've seen the headlines about President Trump and his policies - but what do they mean for Philadelphia? Gary Cohn, Trump's top economic adviser, was in the meeting and briefed reporters. But Cohn said neither would the sanctions be curtailed, as Moscow hopes. "He knows that in the U.S. there are very strong opinions on both sides but he also knows that Paris has important meaning to numerous European leaders".
Trump and Trudeau also discussed "issues of global concern".
The other six nations in the Group of Seven agreed to stick with their commitment to implement the 2015 Paris deal that aims to slow down global warming.
But his language also summarises the "America First" platform that elevated the property tycoon to victory in last year's presidential election.More news: Woman released after being arrested in Ariana Grande Manchester Arena bombing
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