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Canada spat escalates, Europeans criticize Trump's G7 move

11 June 2018
Canada spat escalates, Europeans criticize Trump's G7 move

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte agrees with US President Donald Trump's idea to bring Russian Federation back to the Group of Eight (G8), as he himself wrote on Twitter on Friday, TASS reports.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sharply criticised Trump's tariffs and promised Canada would answer with its own on July 1 unless the United States reversed course.

Insulting the host, alienating allies and threatening to suspend business with other countries: President Donald Trump was in full trade-warrior form for the weekend summit of the Group of Seven wealthy democracies in Canada.

At issue are US tariffs against Canada and Trudeau's effort to retaliate against its neighbor - as well as Trudeau's comment to reporters that all seven leaders had come together to sign a joint declaration after the G-7 meeting.

Within minutes of the official release of the document, Trump attacked Trudeau on Twitter over what he described as the prime minister's "false statements" during the closing G7 news conference - and the president announced the US would no longer endorse the communique. "Our Tariffs are in response to his of 270% on dairy!", Trump said in a second post.

Trump was quick to respond to Trudeau's announcement in a Twitter outburst Saturday evening, writing that he will instruct USA representatives at the G7 summit to not sign the joint communique the seven nations crafted after a series of compromises and threatening to impose tariffs on automobiles from Canada.

The outburst against Trudeau, and by association the other G7 members, is only the latest incident in which Trump has clashed with America's closest allies, even as he has had warm words for autocrats like Kim and Russia's Vladimir Putin.

In the weeks leading up to the summit, he imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum from Canada, Mexico, and the European Union.

"I have made it very clear to the President that it is not something we relish doing, but it something that we absolutely will do", Trudeau said.

President Donald Trump meets with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during the G-7 summit on Friday in Charlevoix, Canada.

There, Trudeau repeated his earlier description of USA trade tariffs as "insulting" and vowed retaliatory measures would come in July. "The Prime Minister said nothing he hasn't said before - both in public, and in private conversations with the President".

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This year, the summit will be Friday and Saturday in Quebec, Canada. Trump fired back, saying the USA had been duped for for years by barriers and that any country that imposed its own measures would regret it. "Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors requested that the United States Secretary of the Treasury communicate their unanimous concern and disappointment".

Trump threatened at the meeting that the US would end all trade with nations that refuse to end "unfair" trade practices.

"I did suggest it and people were - I guess they're going to go back to the drawing board and check it out", Trump said.

Trump also said he might double down on import tariffs by hitting the sensitive auto industry, throwing the G7's efforts to show a united front into disarray.

Trump dismissed Trudeau's comments as "false statements" before announcing the U.S. would withdraw from the communique. "But it did not start with this G7, but with the election of Donald Trump", said a European official.