President Donald Trump arrived in Quebec, Canada on June 8 for a summit with the G7 and clashed with his allies on trade. This is likely to be an incredibly tense meeting that highlighted deep rifts between the US and its partners.
Donald Trump called for Russia to be readmitted to the G7, despite its expulsion in 2014 for President Vladimir Putin’s annexation of Crimea. In recent weeks, he has imposed a number of punitive steel and aluminum exports tariffs on the European Union and Canada, meanwhile, Trump announced he was withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal and the Paris climate agreement. His provocative suggestion compounded tensions with countries already seething over it.
A fragile show of unity at the meeting in Quebec was blown apart and Trump faces a tough crowd of his own making. In the days leading up to the summit, he’s angry with other G7 leaders and tweeted after he left the summit for Singapore.
“PM Justin Trudeau of Canada acted so meek and mild during our @G7 meetings only to give a news conference after I left saying that, ‘US Tariffs were kind of insulting’ and he ‘will not be pushed around.’ Very dishonest & weak. Our Tariffs are in response to his of 270% on dairy!’
PM Justin Trudeau of Canada acted so meek and mild during our @G7 meetings only to give a news conference after I left saying that, “US Tariffs were kind of insulting” and he “will not be pushed around.” Very dishonest & weak. Our Tariffs are in response to his of 270% on dairy!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 9, 2018
At a news conference after Trump’s earlier departure from the summit, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned that his country would respond to Trump’s trade measures.
He said Trump’s trade policy threatened US national security was “insulting,” added: “we will not be pushed around.”
Trump’s counterparts made it clear that they would not be intimidated by his confrontational diplomacy at their closing press conferences. Macron points out that the aim of G7 was to reach consensus on issues facing industrialized countries. He said the “spirit of cooperation was stronger” at the meeting and offered a veiled warning to his US counterpart.
In the days leading up to the summit, European leaders made no secret of their fundamental differences with Trump, leading some observers to refer to the summit as “G6+1”.
“Maybe the American president doesn’t care about being isolated today, but we don’t mind being six, if needs be,” Macron tweeted on June 8，who sources said he also had a difficult call with Trump.
The American President may not mind being isolated, but neither do we mind signing a 6 country agreement if need be. Because these 6 countries represent values, they represent an economic market which has the weight of history behind it and which is now a true international force https://t.co/UA86fcjozs
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) June 7, 2018
Trudeau and trump also clashed bitterly over trump’s decision to impose steel and aluminum tariffs on U.S. Allies by phone, CNN has reported. And before he left for Quebec, Trump accused the European Union and Canada of treating the US “unfairly.”
Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, has made it clear that she is concerned with Trump’s policies, arguing that Germany may no longer be able to rely on US ally.