Trump turns tables on G7 summit with free trade 'proclamation'

Glen Norman
June 10, 2018

The Group of Seven leaders came to their summit in Canada braced for battle, and while everyone had smiles ready for the cameras, behind the scenes U.S. President Donald Trump delivered a "rant" and recriminations on trade to U.S. allies, leaving the once united club deeply divided.

President Donald Trump leaves the main building alongside White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders during the G7 Summit on June 9, 2018 in Quebec City, Canada.

Trump's tweets taking aim at the leader of a country that has always been a US ally came after the president left the G7 summit in Canada to travel to Singapore ahead of a planned diplomatic meeting with North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un.

The U.S. President Donald Trump was at odds with the other world leaders at the G7 Summit. "Many of the current discussions about trade, especially with the United States, despite the common commitment, will continue".

The President had expressed displeasure at having to the attend the summit, a gathering that began Friday in this town outside Quebec City amid tensions over the Trump administration's imposition of metals tariffs on USA allies.


"No tariffs, no barriers, that's the way it should be, and no subsidies", Trump said on Saturday during a 30-minute press conference in La Malbaie.

Morneau said the tariff retaliation would cause "increasing friction" that would impede progress on NAFTA, but added there is a need "to step back from that destructive action so that we can actually get to the real work".

The prospect that he could be moving toward an even greater protectionist trade policy is likely to chill financial markets anxious about tit-for-tit escalation that could lead to a full-blown global trade war. And we charge nothing", he said."And it's going to stop.

Mr. Trump planned to leave the summit on Saturday before it discussed climate change and the health of oceans, underlining fractures in the G7 exacerbated by USA trade tariffs.

The pair have been at odds over whether a sunset clause would be included into any renegotiated trade agreement covering the US, Canada and Mexico, with Mr Trudeau insisting no sunset clause would be included and Mr Trump saying hours earlier that negotiators were "pretty close on the sunset provision".


Finance Minister Bill Morneau said that message was communicated clearly to Trump during his meetings at the G7 summit with fellow leaders, and in his face-to-face talk with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Despite the tension and determination of European leaders President Emmanuel Macron of France and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany to push back on Trump's assault on the world trade system, when Trump left it was thought a compromise had been reached.

"For us, it was important that we have a commitment for a rule-based trade order, that we continue to fight against protectionism and that we want to reform the WTO", Ms Merkel told reporters.

Trump also repeated an earlier proposal that USA trading partners should drop all trade barriers, including tariffs and subsidies to industries and producers in their own countries.

Trump is issuing a stern warning to foreign countries not to retaliate against United States tariffs on the imports of steel and aluminum.


Other reports by

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER