The U.S. president has recently whacked all the other members of the G7 with hefty steel and aluminum tariffs and is threatening to also impose tariffs on vehicle imports, which would also hit them hard. Facing pointed criticism from increasingly disillusioned allies, he punched back, uncowed by the growing global outcry.
Signaling that his allies would not be intimidated, Macron made it clear that the other six countries at the G7 meeting would gladly sign deal without Trump. We will straighten that out. He prefers to keep the group to seven, quipping that it is a "lucky number". And in the G-7, which used to be the G-8, they threw Russia out, they should let Russia come back in, because we should have Russia at the negotiating table. He was making a passing reference to the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 USA elections and possible collusion with Trump's presidential campaign.
The summit is being held in the picturesque Quebec town. France will host next year and the United States in 2020. The European Union also attends. Trump will then head to Singapore ahead of his highly-anticipated meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday.
Trump's imposition of steel and aluminum tariffs, as well as broader disagreements on trade, climate change and the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement, are setting the stage for some tense G7 talks once Trump arrives at the summit in the Quebec town of La Malbaie.
"Looking forward to straightening out unfair Trade Deals with the G-7 countries".
"The rules-based worldwide order is being challenged, not by the usual suspects but by its main architect and guarantor: the United States", said European Council President Donald Tusk.
Merkel has said that it may be "more honest" for the G7 to avoid coming up with a joint statement at the end if it means compromising its principles. It is a breathtaking idea, that the USA should be treated by the major industrialized democracies as a rogue state in the same category as Putin's Russian Federation.
He called Canadian PM Justin Trudeau "indignant" and took aim at French President Macron as well.
Prime Minister Theresa May is among the G7 leaders who have criticised the U.S. president for not exempting the European Union and Canada from his new tariffs on steel and aluminium imports.
But some of those who Mr Trump will join for two days of talks at a luxury castle in the Canadian mountains have already abandoned the tradition of playing nice in public, whatever the differences behind the scenes.
While other World Trade Organisation members are also considering retaliating by targeting iconic American products - such as bourbon whiskey and Harley-Davidson motorcycles - the escalating tensions between Mexico and the U.S. may further complicate the renegotiation of the NAFTA.
Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland questioned the Trump administration's move on CNN.
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