Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

Trump talks tariffs, NAFTA and G7 relationships as he leaves summit early

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Deanna Wagner | 10 June, 2018, 18:30

U.S. President Donald Trump boards Air Force One to depart for travel to Singapore from the Canadian Forces Base Bagotville, Quebec, Canada, June 9, 2018.

Shortly before, Trudeau had announced the G7 countries had all agreed on the statement. Later, the document was made public.

"We strive to reduce tariff barriers, non-tariff barriers and subsidies", the G-7 nations said in their joint communique issued at the conclusion of the two-day summit in Canada.

Exiting a world summit with characteristic bravado, President Donald Trump delivered a stark warning Saturday to America's trading partners not to counter his decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

Trudeau said he told Mr. Trump "it would be with regret but it would be with absolute clarity and firmness that we move forward with retaliatory measures on July 1, applying equivalent tariffs to the ones that the Americans have unjustly applied to us". In that black-and-white photo, posted by US Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, Mr Trump appears to talk confidently as other leaders listen. "We are focused on everything we accomplished here at the #G7 summit", spokesman Cameron Ahmad said. "And that's a very profitable answer.".

Such a move could make it almost impossible to renegotiate the terms of the 1994 NAFTA pact between the United States, Canada and Mexico.

The comments, made after Trump had left to go to Singapore for his much-anticipated meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, infuriated the US president.

Leaving the Group of Seven Summit for Singapore, President Trump tweeted that he has instructed USA representatives to not endorse a joint communique issued by the G-7 leaders.

There had been widespread speculation that the G-7 nations would not issue a joint communique that included the United States due to deep differences between Trump administration and close American allies on trade.

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During the summit, Trump had changed the photo on his Twitter page to the "family photo" taken with other G7 leaders.

But by insisting on re-negotiating every five years, Trump is diametrically opposed with Canada, which says the sunset clause would create perpetual uncertainty and harm long-term investment.

"We had some strong, firm conversations on trade and specifically on American tariffs". "It's a one-time shot and I think it's going to work out very well".

"The countries are all going to retaliate - what you will get is a period of time where each of the countries is going to have to evaluate the impact of the new tariffs".

White House Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow, who was invited by Trump to speak from the same podium, described the comments as Trump's "free trade proclamation". "And then we leave and Trudeau pulls this sophomoric, political stunt for domestic consumption".

Trump, for his part, has argued that the European Union countries and Canada have imposed tariffs on USA goods for years to the detriment of U.S. farmers and factories, though he did not mention any specific regulations.

"These are jointly shared principles, although the pitfalls lie in the details", German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a press conference before the release of the communique.

Trump has announced tariffs of up to $150 billion on Chinese goods over USA complaints of Beijing's trade practices and its alleged theft of US technology.