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Trump decides to leave G7 meeting in Quebec early after trade dispute
10 June 2018, 04:48 | Erica Roy
U.S. allies at the 2017 G-7 summit in Sicily this year’s meeting could be more awkward MIGUEL MEDINA—AFP Getty Images
A French presidential official described the Friday session as "extraordinary", saying leaders who had vowed to confront Mr Trump over his decision to impose tariffs on U.S. allies last week as part of his "America First" agenda, showered Mr Trump with data one after the other.
According to Trump, who blamed the USA leaders who preceded him for the current trade deficits, the answer is a change in the entire worldwide trading system. "The EU trade surplus with the U.S.is $151 Billion, and Canada keeps our farmers and others out".
Earlier while still in Quebec, Trump said he wants to make a deal on NAFTA, and he's open to working with the current pact or striking separate agreements with Canada and Mexico - as long as they agree to renegotiate every five years.
Trump had come to Quebec insisting on his long-standing claim that America has been exploited for too long by existing trade arrangements - and he was met by counterparts equally determined to protect the "rules-based" worldwide system.
He also denied the summit had been contentious, a remark that contradicted what one G7 official described as an "extraordinary" exchange on Friday in which Trump repeated a list of trade grievances, mainly concerning the European Union and Canada.
On Friday, French President Emmanuel Macron appeared to indicate room for negotiation ahead of a delayed meeting with Trump, telling reporters "Sometimes we disagree".
"The level of relationship is a 10", Trump said.
Another image of the same gathering however suggests a more relaxed interaction, with Merkel smiling and Trump making eye contact. "And we're not going to be able to do that work when our retaliatory tariffs, which are real, they're significant", Morneau said in a Saturday interview.
Trump earlier called on the G7 leaders to reinstate Russian Federation as a member.
The leaders worked late into the night on Friday at the luxurious and tightly secured riverside hotel where the summit is being held, with the White House tweeting a photo showing the leaders huddled around a coffee table at 11:20 p.m. ET, looking at what appeared to be a draft document marked up with the highlighter. It says the group acknowledges free, fair and mutually beneficial trade as the key engine for growth and jobs and adds, quote, "we strive to reduce tariff barriers, nontariff barriers and subsidies" - unquote.
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He also said the US was so disadvantaged it had nothing to lose in a trade war. The United States' closest trading partners - the EU, Canada and Mexico - have vowed to impose retaliatory tariffs on scores of U.S. products beginning in the coming weeks.
Trump, who is on his way to Singapore for a summit with North Korea's leader, also reiterated warnings that his administration was mulling tariffs "on automobiles flooding the USA market" in a move that would be primarily aimed at another G7 member, Germany.
There was also an agreement to disagree on climate change in the wake of Trump's decision to leave the Paris climate accord previous year which further underlined the divide between the Group of Seven's powerhouse and its six co-members.
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The group used to be called the G8 before Russia's membership was suspended in 2014 after the outbreak of the Ukrainian crisis. Trump also tweets about having "great meetings and relationships" with the other leaders despite the tensions.
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