Published: Tue, June 12, 2018

France's Macron seeks to forge European front against Trump

France's Macron seeks to forge European front against Trump

The details of the conversation come amid fears of a looming trade war over Trump's threats to impose steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the European Union, Canada and Mexico, which boiled over during the G7 summit in Canada on Saturday, according to CNN.

President Donald Trump's top economic adviser says Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau "really kind of stabbed us in the back" when Trudeau said at the end of the Group of Seven summit that Canada wouldn't be pushed around by the USA and its trade tariffs.

While G7 leaders confronted Trump with a slew of data on imports and exports in a bid to sway his thinking, Trump countered his own numbers and held his position that the United States was at a disadvantage on global trade, an official who followed the talks said. "And I think on trade, there is a critical path, there is a way to progress altogether", he said, speaking in English. French President Emmanuel Macron, who has tried to be friendly with Trump in the past, has recently shifted to a tougher line against the White House.

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".

Trump also predicts a positive outcome, emphasizing, his "good relationship" with "my friend" Macron, despite what he called "a little test" on trade.


USA officials travelling with Trump admitted they had been surprised by Trump's suggestion, which one said was "not something planned", and Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said it had not been formally put on the G-7 table.

Macron also reportedly threatened not to sign the official G7 communique unless the USA was willing to make serious concessions on trade. On Friday, bilateral meetings preceded roundtable discussions. Trump said the tariffs are necessary for national security.

Trump's friendly fire has ramped up tensions in anticipation of the summit, promising a showdown when the President comes face to face with a group of world leaders he has repeatedly offended.

"I have been Russia's worst nightmare", Trump claimed, "but with that being said, Russian Federation should be in this meeting".

The G-8 was downgraded back to a G-7 following Putin's annexation of Crimea in 2014. Instead of fighting big battles with Trump, his counterparts were angling for a baseline of agreement that might be as low as an acknowledgment of the important role of the G-7.

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