Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Cameroon's Constitutional Court rejects last petition for re-run

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Music stars, French art and a dead cat's renaissance

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Khashoggi Affair: Evidence mounts against Saudi Crown Prince

Read more

#TECH 24

Next stop space: Japanese company constructing nanotube 'space lift'

Read more

#THE 51%

The Gender Divide: Record number of women running in U.S. midterms

Read more

REPORTERS

Reporters: Brexit, a sea of uncertainty for fishermen

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

Fishing in France's Grau du Roi harbour, a family tradition

Read more

FOCUS

French education reforms under tight scrutiny

Read more

ENCORE!

FIAC 2018: Paris's one-stop shop for Contemporary Art collectors

Read more

Americas

Trump demands 'no tariffs' while defending steel, aluminum tariffs on US imports at G7

© Ludovic Marin, AFP | US President Donald Trump speaks while meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron on the sidelines of the G7 Summit in Charlevoix, Quebec, Canada, June 8, 2018.

Video by Douglas HERBERT

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2018-06-09

President Donald Trump said Saturday his talks with fellow G7 leaders on trade had been "extremely productive" and that he would prefer a tariff-free world if other countries would only treat the United States fairly.

Exiting a world summit with characteristic bravado, Trump delivered a stark warning to America's trading partners not to counter his decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. Despite his sharp differences with US allies, the president insisted he has a "great relationship" with his foreign counterparts.

"If they retaliate, they're making a mistake," Trump declared before departing the annual Group of Seven summit in Canada for his meeting with North Korea's Kim Jong Un in Singapore on Tuesday.

Trump's abbreviated stay at this Quebec resort saw him continuing the same type of tough talk on trade as when he departed the White House, accusing the summit's host, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, of being "indignant."

The summit came during an ongoing trade dispute with China and served as a precursor to his unprecedented meeting with Kim, in which he has sought to extend a hand to the Asian autocrat who has long bedeviled the international order.

"His message from Quebec to Singapore is that he is going to meld the industrial democracies to his will - and bring back Russia," said Steve Bannon, Trump's former campaign and White House adviser. Bannon said China is "now on notice that Trump will not back down from even allies' complaints in his goal of 'America First.'"

Speaking on Saturday during a rare news conference, Trump said he pressed for the G7 countries to eliminate all tariffs, trade barriers and subsidies in their trading practices. He reiterated his longstanding view that the US has been taken advantage of in global trade, adding, "We're like the piggy bank that everybody's robbing and that ends."

He said US farmers had been harmed by tariffs and other barriers and warned that US trading partners would need to provide him with more favorable terms. "It's going to stop or we'll stop trading with them," he said.

Trump cited progress on reaching an agreement on the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico, saying the final outcome would lead either to an improved trade deal or separate pacts with the two US neighbors. Trump said he was discussing two types of sunset provisions in which any of the countries could leave the deal. A Canadian official said the leaders discussed accelerating the pace of the talks.

Prior to his arrival on Friday, the president injected additional controversy by suggesting that the G7 offer a seat at the table to Russia, which was ousted from the group after it annexed Crimea in 2014. Trump said Saturday that re-admitting Russia to the elite club would be "an asset," telling reporters, "we're looking for peace in the world." Trump said he had not spoken with Russian President Vladimir Putin in a while.

'This used to be the G8'

Trump departed the annual G7 gathering after showing up late for a breakfast on gender equity and he missed sessions on climate change, clean energy and ocean protection. He left before any resolution was announced on the traditional joint statement from the seven industrialized nations in the group, which in addition to the US and Canada includes Britain, Italy, France, Germany and Japan.

Trump's recent moves, building on 18 months of nationalist policy-making, leave him out of step with the globally minded organization and prompted speculation that the group could fracture into something more like the "G6 plus one."

A key question was whether the seven countries could agree on a joint statement of priorities at the conclusion of the meeting. 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." Trump said Friday he thinks the group will produce a joint statement.

In public, Trump bantered easily with his fellow leaders, but the meeting came at a tense moment in the relationships, with allies steaming over Trump's new tariffs on imported steel and aluminum from Canada, Mexico and the European Union.

Leading up to the meetings, Trump, Trudeau and French President Emmanuel Macron had suggested the potential for a tough tone, though they were cordial in face-to-face meetings.

Alluding to the tensions as he sat with Macron on Friday, Trump said: "We've had, really, a very good relationship, very special. A lot of people wrote a couple of things that weren't quite true. A little bit accurate, perhaps. We have a little test every once in a while when it comes to trade."

With Trudeau, Trump joked that "Justin has agreed to cut all tariffs and all trade barriers between Canada and the United States."

Macron said he and Trump held "open and direct" discussions, adding that he thought there was a way to get a "win-win" outcome on trade, though details remained unclear.

(FRANCE 24 with AP, AFP)

Date created : 2018-06-09

  • G7

    Trump isolated at fractious G7 summit in Canada

    Read more

  • Canada

    Trump trade clash dooms prospects of G7 consensus

    Read more

  • WORLD

    Macron, Trudeau back 'strong multilateralism' ahead of contentious G7 summit

    Read more

COMMENT(S)