Copy-Trump criticizes Justin Trudeau, says US won't endorse G7 communique

Clay Curtis
June 10, 2018

US President Donald Trump dramatically withdrew his endorsement of a joint statement at the end of a G7 summit in Canada today in a row over trade, accusing the summit's chairman Justin Trudeau of dishonesty.

Mr Trump has planned to leave the summit mid-morning on Saturday (local time), four hours earlier than originally planned, to fly to Singapore to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Later, the document was made public.

The letter comes on the day of the Group of 7 (G-7) summit amid heightened conflict between Trump and other G-7 members over the tariffs and following Trump's suggestion that Russian Federation be reinstated into the group.

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

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.

Mr Trudeau said: "Canadians, we're polite, we're reasonable but we also will not be pushed around".

Despite Mr Trump's actions, the UK, France and Germany have insisted they will stand by the commitments made at the summit.

"We do not want the situation to escalate to a full-blown and merciless trade war, but hostile actions can not be left unanswered", French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said this week.

Over the course of the summit, the President pushed the narrative that the U.S.is a victim of a trade imbalance, though European leaders rejected these claims.

"We stand by the commitments made in the G7 communique", a senior United Kingdom government source said.

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French President Emmanuel Macron said the agreement would be a good first step and represented the G7 nations' desire to stabilize the situation.

But while Trudeau's months-long effort to reach out to USA politicians and business leaders at every jurisdiction and level may not have won over Trump, it may pay dividends if Trump's attack finally spurs support from business groups or Congress.

Mr Trump warned the EU: "If they retaliate they are making a mistake".

Trudeau said he had told Trump that the talks had been made more complicated by a USA decision to impose tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum, ostensibly for national security reasons. "And we charge nothing", Trump said.

During the meeting, Mr Trump accused other states of "robbing" his country through their trade policies and proposed scrapping tariffs across the G7.

Trump tweeted Friday he's "looking forward to straightening out unfair trade deals with G7 countries" at the summit, saying the United States would "come out even better" if the deals were not improved.

"It's going to change", he said.

"To our allies: bipartisan majorities of Americans remain pro-free trade, pro-globalization & supportive of alliances based on 70 years of shared values".

He said USA farmers had been harmed by tariffs and other barriers and warned that US trading partners would need to provide him with more favorable terms.

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