Published: Wed, June 13, 2018

Picture worth a thousand words: Trump, Merkel 'standoff' captures G-7 tensions

Picture worth a thousand words: Trump, Merkel 'standoff' captures G-7 tensions

A picture of U.S. President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel displaying less-than-friendly body language is turning out to be a defining image of the contentious meeting of the Group of Seven leaders of the world's advanced economies.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called President Donald Trump's choice to break ranks with US allies-by backing out of a joint statement on social media and then deride foreign leaders-"a little depressing". According to the Census Bureau, the European Union had a $101 billion trade surplus in goods and services with the USA a year ago and a $30.3 billion surplus in the first quarter. "Instead it is important to act on time".

'We will definitely find a solution, ' he said.

'I think it marks very sensible cooperation that will contribute to reducing illegal migration to Europe, ' Kurz told reporters at a convivial news conference with Seehofer, in marked contrast with the far more formal exchange he had with Merkel late Tuesday.

The picture, snapped Saturday by German government photographer Jesco Denzel, shows a standing Merkel with her hands firmly planted on a table staring down at Trump, who is seated with his arms folded and eyes glaring.

Merkel said that "taking it back by tweet was of course sobering and also a little depressing".

Later on Saturday, after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said all seven nations had signed a joint communique at the end of the summit, Trump angrily lashed out on Twitter, stating the USA would not endorse the statement. But Trudeau had simply reiterated points he'd made before: that Canada planned dollar-for-dollar retaliatory tariffs in response to Trump's new tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.

The German chancellor's comments on Sunday come after Trudeau announced that Canada would implement its own retaliatory tariffs on the U.S. Trump had given Canada, the European Union and Mexico temporary exemptions from the steel and aluminum tariffs he first announced in March, but said at the end of May that he would be ending the exemptions. We have a very big trade deficit with Canada. Mr Trump called him "very dishonest and weak" in a tweet after Mr Trudeau repeated criticisms of United States tariffs on imported steel and aluminium and Mr Trump's trade policies in a news conference following the Group of Seven meeting in Quebec. "Other states will surely follow", he said in a statement. Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminum tariffs sparked tension at the meeting.

Echoing Merkel's sentiments, French President Emmanuel Macron's office said that "international cooperation can not depend on fits of anger and a few words", according to a statement published by French public broadcaster RFI.

"We spent two days producing a statement and commitments", the statement said.

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