ibusinesslines.com August 17, 2018

Trump, Trudeau swap jokes but hold firm in trade dispute

10 June 2018, 03:19 | Erica Roy

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US President Donald Trump on Saturday called for a revamp of the global trade system, insisting he wanted the complete removal of trade barriers within the Group of Seven (G7).

Trudeau said he told Trump directly that Canadians "particularly did not take lightly the fact that it's based on a national security reason" and held firm to the government's threat of retaliation.

The six-plus-one tone of the gathering in Quebec means the leaders from Canada, Britain, the United States, France, Germany Italy and Japan are unlikely to issue a joint statement, too sharply divided on trade or the environment to reach consensus.

In his final news conference before leaving, Mr Trump said trade was at the top of the agenda and the USA has been taken advantage of for decades and it cannot go on.

Trump had already roiled G-7 members ahead of the summit and raised fears of a trade war when he placed tariffs on steel and aluminum from Canada, the European Union and Mexico.

He said US farmers had been harmed by tariffs and other barriers and warned that USA trading partners would need to provide him with more favorable terms.

Tensions between the USA and the other G7 countries have become inflamed in recent weeks as Trump imposed steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the European Union and Canada for what the White House says are national security reasons.

The EU said it will impose the "rebalancing" tariffs on about $3.3 billion (2.8 billion euros) worth of US steel, bourbon, agricultural products including sweet corn, orange juice, cranberries and certain clothing made of cotton.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Saturday that Moscow "never asked anyone to return" to the G7 and that Russia was happy working with the G20.

Morneau said he is engaged in intense talks with his USA counterparts in the hopes of finding a way forward.

Some countries have retaliated with their own levies on USA imports.

"Let's leave seven as it is", Tusk said.

But in an apparent nod to Trump, it also pledged to push for swift reforms to the World Trade Organization which the USA president has said has been a "disaster" for his country.

Trump has long criticized the United States' goods deficit. And we charge nothing", he said."And it's going to stop. "I think within the first minute I'll know", Trump said.

"What worries me most however is the fact that the rules-based worldwide order is being challenged, quite surprisingly not by the usual suspects but by its main architect and guarantor: the USA", he said.

Iranians burn an effigy of US President Donald Trump dressed in an Israeli flag during a rally in Tehran to mark Jerusalem Day on June 8, 2018.

Trump also tweets about having "great meetings and relationships" with the other leaders despite the tensions. The group used to be called the G8 before Russia's membership was suspended in 2014 after the outbreak of the Ukrainian crisis.

Trump followed it up with a second post that targeted Canada's auto and dairy industries: "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".

The PM also said she had spoken to Mr Trump "briefly" at the summit about his upcoming visit to the UK.

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