Trudy Rubin: Trump pummels G-7 democratic allies but loves autocrats

Clay Curtis
June 12, 2018

"Please tell Prime Minister Trudeau and President Macron that they are charging the USA massive tariffs and create non-monetary barriers", Trump said.

The tight relationship between President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron appears to be crumbling as the French leader gets tough on the U.S. president's trade policy.

"Look, I think we have this very special relationship because both of us are probably mavericks of the systems on both sides", Macron told the host Chris Wallace.

Trump fired back at Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on social media before departing for the summit, asking "Why isn't the European Union and Canada informing the public that for years they have used massive Trade Tariffs and non-monetary Trade Barriers against the U.S.?"

"We've had really a very good relationship, very special", the USA president said of Macron, a day after the two leaders had exchanged terse messages on Twitter. The tit-for-tat risks a full blown trade war, something economists have said would be bad for all involved.

"Why are we having a meeting without Russian Federation in the meeting?"

European officials at the summit were shocked by the idea, or dismissive, and Tusk, while admitting that it was hard to be surprised by Trump's pronouncements any more, said: "Let's leave the G7 as it is".

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Mr. Macron, feuding with Mr. Trump over US steel and aluminum tariffs on the European Union, tweeted that he and the other six leaders were prepared to turn their backs on Mr. Trump at the summit. "We have little tests every once in a while when it comes to trade".

Trump also lashed out at long-time allies over their criticism of his trade policies.

He's also threatened to tear up the NAFTA agreement with Canada and Mexico. G7 chiefs have largely praised Trump for his efforts to stabilize the Korean peninsula, but they are unhappy he pulled out of an global agreement to limit Iran's nuclear ambitions.

He was positioned between Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has called Mr. Trump's tariffs "insulting", and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who predicted "controversial discussions" with the president on trade.

Trump is set to meet Trudeau later in the day.

The G-8 was downgraded back to a G-7 following Putin's annexation of Crimea in 2014.

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.

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