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Trump turns tables on G7 allies with free trade `proclamation'

10 June 2018

He delivered that message personally during meetings with other leaders of the Group of Seven major economies, which took place in Canada on Friday and Saturday.

Trump's characterization of the United States' relationships with allies as "a 10" when asked at the news conference about any tensions between his administration and other G7 nations also drew criticism from a senior European diplomat.

French President Emmanuel Macron had labeled the summit a success before Trump's Twitter posts, saying there was relief within the G7 that an escalation of the trade dispute had been avoided. Shortly afterward, the White House issued a separate photo showing a sitting Trump speaking as Merkel, Abe and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listen.

Mr. Trump then tweeted that "based on Justin's false statements, and the fact that Canada is charging massive Tariffs to our USA farmers", he would not be following the final communique.

The president has been a disruptive force for the worldwide trading order, insisting other countries move to reduce barriers he said have left the US with a trade deficit of more than $800 billion. Manufacturing, an industry Trump focuses on, makes up about 10% of U.S. economic output.

"The prime minister said nothing he hasn't said before - both in public and in private conversations with the President", said spokesman Cameron Ahmad.

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On Saturday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sniped about "stragglers" after Mr Trump was late to a breakfast session on gender equality.

Leading up to the meetings, Trump, Trudeau and French President Emmanuel Macron had suggested the potential for a tough tone, though they were cordial in face-to-face meetings. "It's a handsome evening, a great weekend".

The president met with leaders from Canada, Britain, Italy, France, Germany and Japan in Quebec, where trade talks dominated the summit.

The group could now be facing an existential crisis.

There are plenty of worldwide forums to engage Russian Federation and other countries.

Just hours before attending the summit, Trump tweeted about rectifying "unfair Trade Deals with the G-7 countries". "It's gonna change. I mean it's not a question of 'I hope it changes.' It's gonna change - 100 percent".

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But in his closing news conference, Trudeau argued the two-day event was a success.

Sitting down with Trudeau, Trump said "the relationship is probably better, as good or better than it has hever been and I think we'll get to something beneficial to Canada and the US".

"And on that, this was certainly a success". "European Union treats us very unfairly".

Before Trudeau's announcement, there had been speculation that the USA might be excluded from the communique due to high tensions between Trump and some G-7 leaders over recently imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. He has threatened similar action against the auto industry. And while his critics say Trump is suspiciously soft on Putin, the president told reporters Friday: "I have been Russia's worst nightmare".

"It's true, we didn't fix all of the planet's problems this weekend in Charlevoix".

Trump's recent moves, building on 18 months of nationalist policy-making, leave him out of step with the globally minded organization and prompted speculation that the group could fracture into something more like the "G-6 plus one".

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Trump turns tables on G7 allies with free trade `proclamation'