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Trump's top economic adviser accuses Trudeau of back-stabbing after G7 summit

10 June 2018

LA MALBAIE, Quebec: U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday accused other countries of "robbing" the United States on trade and threatened to stop doing business with them altogether as he pushed his "America First" agenda at a Group of Seven nations summit.

Speaking on Saturday during a rare news conference, Trump said he pressed for the G-7 countries to eliminate all tariffs, trade barriers and subsidies in their trading practices.

"The Prime Minister said nothing he hasn't said before - both in public, and in private conversation with the President."

The US president then had angry words for Trudeau, saying the Canadian prime minister had "acted so meek and mild" in their joint discussions only to later pledge in a press conference that he would not be pushed around.

President Trump, who left the summit earlier than scheduled, demanded that the G7 countries reduce their trade barriers.

Reacting to Trump's tweets, Trudeau's office said: "We are focused on everything we accomplished here at the summit".

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The President warned Canada and Europe to back off their threats to hit back with retaliatory trade measures on July 1 if the US does not lift the steel and aluminum levies. "He really kind of stabbed us in the back".

U.S. allies will "be looking forward to the day when there's a different government in the United States", he said.

But "at the same time we need to avoid tit-for-tat escalation" and maintain a constructive dialogue, she said.

"If they retaliate, they're making a mistake", Trump declared before departing the annual Group of Seven summit in Canada for his meeting with North Korea's Kim Jong Un in Singapore on Tuesday.

The Trump administration imposed aluminum and steel tariffs on the other G-7 members - the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, France, Canada and Japan - ratcheting up tensions between the US and its allies in the run-up to the summit.

Mr Trump's salvo capped a rollecoaster two days of controversies that began with his suggestion Russian Federation be readmitted to the G7, then what a French official described as a "rant" full of "recriminations" against USA trading partners, followed by a denial of any tensions with leaders at the summit and his description of their relationship as a "10".

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Instead of attending the 2019 G7 summit, look for Trump to attend the 2019 G2 summit with Putin in Crimea.

In the photo released by the German government, Chancellor Angela Merkel stands surrounded by French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May as she peers down at Mr Trump, who is seated with his arms crossed and returning her gaze. "You got to go tariff free", he argued.

European officials said Trump had tried to water down the language in the draft communique on the WTO and rules-based trade.

The BBC parsed the picture by identifying all nine individuals in it, including British Prime Minister Theresa May, who is barely visible, and Larry Kudlow, head of Trump's National Economic Council as well as several Japanese officials and USA national security adviser John Bolton.

- The future of the G7: The leaders huddled late into the night on Friday and again on Saturday morning to find compromises palatable to all, especially on maintaining free trade and carefully managing trade disputes. Trump said he was discussing two types of sunset provisions in which any of the countries could leave the deal.

In retrospect, the consensus had appeared shaky from the outset, and even as Trump flew out it was clear that the summit had failed to heal the rift on trade.

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"If a deal isn't made, that would be a very bad thing for Canada and it would be a very bad thing for Mexico", Trump said.

Trump's top economic adviser accuses Trudeau of back-stabbing after G7 summit