Friday, 17 August, 2018

Donald Trump rails against 'unfair' trade at G7 leaders summit

President Donald Trump meets with French President Emmanuel Macron during the G-7 summit Friday Trump blasts allies over trade: US is a “piggy bank that everybody’s robbing”
Deanna Wagner | 10 June, 2018, 16:16

Trump's apparent threat to end US trade deals with top allies came as he feuded with French President Emmanuel Macron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other leaders over the trade war he instigated late last month.

US President Donald Trump said on Saturday he told Group of Seven leaders that the United States required fair access to markets and an end to unfair trade practices.

He also said the US was so disadvantaged it had nothing to lose in a trade war.

Trump knew, of course, that other G7 members don't want to eliminate all tariffs, just the new United States ones they see as potentially damaging to their economies. Trudeau has called the claim "insulting" and "laughable".

At issue now is whether the seven nations can conclude their meeting with a joint statement of priorities.

Trump, who left the summit in La Malbaie early ahead of his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesaday, told reporters the U.S. needed protectionist tariffs because "we are like the piggy bank that everyone is robbing".

In front of the cameras, the leaders also struck a conciliatory tone. "I guess they are going to go back to the drawing board and check it out", Trump said. "It's highly unlikely there will be a final communique", a G7 official said on condition of anonymity.

Canada is now adding the tariffs to its list of deal breakers on NAFTA. And tariffs are going to come way down because people can not continue to do that.

"I think it would be good for Russian Federation, I think it would be good for the USA, I think it would be good for all of the countries of the current G7".

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Despite his sharp differences with US allies, the president insisted he has a "great relationship" with his foreign counterparts. "European Union treats us very unfairly".

Trump said that would be a bad idea. Macron said Thursday on Twitter, "The American President may not mind being isolated, but neither do we mind signing a 6 country agreement if need be".

Trudeau said five of the G7 countries agreed to a plastics charter to further protect the environment and oceans.

'I highlighted directly to the president that Canadians did not take it lightly that the United States has moved forward with significant tariffs, ' said Trudeau.

Earlier on Saturday, Trump told reporters it would be "very easy" to make the case for tariffs on auto imports using the rationale that they threaten national security.

"Good to see you guys", Trudeau said to journalists as he walked past.

Trump insisted USA allies would yield to his demands of a trade rebalance, warning that the U.S. would crush any opposition in a potential trade war. "And it doesn't help US citizens understand the disruption in our economy that is actually coming from more technology and more automation, not from free trade agreements - which have overwhelmingly benefited American families". "We're gonna fix that situation, and if it's not fixed, we're not going to deal with these countries". "And that ends." - Trump insists that the current status quo on trade can not be allowed to continue.

The other G7 leaders will meet without Trump for the rest of the day, discussing climate change and worldwide development.

"What we did this weekend was come together, roll up our sleeves and figure out a consensus language that we could all agree to", Trudeau said in the town of La Malbaie where leaders have been meeting since Friday morning.