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Donald Trump says 'looking forward' to resolving trade disputes at G7

09 June 2018

That set the tone.

With a cool reception all but assured, Trump has complained to aides about even having to attend the meeting, especially since his summit with Kim is just days away. But it must be both.

US President Donald Trump steps away after the family photo at the G7 Summit in La Malbaie, Canada.

If the idea was to sow confusion and pull at the threads that knit together this group of leading industrialized democracies, it worked.

Since before taking office, Trump has repeatedly called for a more conciliatory approach to Moscow, criticizing some of the harder-line policies put in place by his predecessor, Barack Obama.

He has called Trump's imposition of the tariffs "irresponsible" and "insulting" because the two countries have fought as allies in Second World War, Korea and Afghanistan. The French president, Emmanuel Macron, said yesterday that this doesn't mean there won't be an agreement. European unity was split.

The suggestion from Trump, made on June 8 on the eve of a summit of G7 leaders, was the latest in a string of conciliatory statements by him toward Moscow, a stance that has clashed with many congressional Republicans and Democrats, as well as large parts of the US foreign policy establishment.

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Mr Trump said on Friday that the United States and Canada were working on cutting tariffs "and making it all very fair for both countries". "And in the G-7, which used to be the the G-8 - they threw Russia out - they should let Russia come back in because we should have Russia at the negotiating table".

Other G7 leaders, including British Prime Minister Theresa May and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, have also spoken out against the US tariffs.

Trudeau was angered Trump utilized the rarely invoked "national security" provision to justify the tariffs, and in doing so was alluding that Canada was a threat to US national security. Ottawa argues the Americans' heavy dairy subsidies are the equivalent of a 354-per-cent tariff.

"The United States accounts for more than half of the GDP of the total G-7".

It was all fog.

"Don't blame Mr Trump, blame the nations that have broken away".

As those negotiations have stalled, discussions between Canada and US turned more pointed. He wants Wisconsin farmers to see him complaining about Canada.

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Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland held firm against what she called "illegal and absolutely unjustified" tariffs even though the leaders were playing nice.

"We will also obviously have some very robust discussions on trade", Trudeau said.

When it comes to nuclear programs, some of the G-7 allies stand in staunch opposition to the Trump administration's current position on Iran. Mr. Trump is a constant surprise.

"What worries me most however is the fact that the rules-based worldwide order is being challenged, quite surprisingly not by the usual suspects but by its main architect and guarantor: the United States", he said. "The rules-based worldwide order is being challenged", Mr. Tusk said. "Quite surprisingly, it's not by the usual suspects, but by its main architect and guarantor".

You can bet Mr. Tusk's list of the usual suspects out to disrupt the world order includes Russia's Mr. Putin.

Trump, acknowledging his view "may not be politically correct", told reporters before leaving for the summit: "We have a world to run and the G-7, which used to be the G-8 ― they threw Russian Federation out". "Putin is not our friend and he is not the president's buddy". That moved him squarely offside with most of his fellow G7 leaders, including Trudeau, on one of their most serious, shared worldwide security concerns.

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Donald Trump says 'looking forward' to resolving trade disputes at G7