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G7 leaders set to clash with combative Trump over tariffs, trade

09 Juin 2018

Leaders of the Group of Seven rich nations meet at a summit in Canada on Friday more divided than at any time in the group's 42-year history, as US President Donald Trump's policies risk causing a global trade war.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and French President Emmanuel Macron say they support U.S. President Donald Trump's efforts to rid North Korea of nuclear weapons. After years in which Russia's wealthy were invited to base themselves in London without questions being asked about how they made their money, the Home Office is reviewing visas.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau later said that those talks stalled because the Trump administration demanded a five-year sunset clause on the agreement.

A spokesman at the Kremlin, Dmitry Peskov, brushed it all off.

The US president had earlier called for Russian Federation - which was suspended from the group in 2014, following Moscow's annexation of Crimea, and chose to leave permanently in 2017 - to be readmitted in the interests of realpolitik.

Canada's Trade Minister Francois Philippe Champagne was even more blunt, declaring: "What we are seeing is that the world economic order is under pressure, under attack".

The two leaders talked on the phone last week after Trump announced US tariffs on European goods. He is planning to leave the summit early on Saturday morning before the leaders' scheduled meetings are completed, said Canadian government officials.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced that Trump would be represented by Everett Eissenstat for the last sessions.

Trump responded by saying: "Didn't you guys burn down the White House?".

Staffers working on the G-7 summit have reportedly started to joke that the meeting should be called the G6 plus one.

"We know certainly that there will be frank and sometimes hard discussions around the G7 table, particularly with the United States president on tariffs", Trudeau told reporters.

"Macron was definitely getting more phone calls than other European leaders, so it looked at first like it was paying off", Julianne Smith, a former deputy national security adviser to Vice President Joe Biden, told Politico. Mexico tailored the list of retaliatory duties to hit states governed by senior Republicans, such as the bourbon produced in the home state of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Ky.

The comments followed a string of tweets from the president railing against Canada, France and other European allies for what the president has described as an imbalanced trade relationship. "But Russia should be in the meeting, should be a part of it".

German Chancellor Angela Merkel proposed to set up a dialogue and evaluation mechanism to resolve current trade differences with the United States and prevent future ones, the source added.

Trump, for his part, has argued that the European Union countries and Canada have imposed tariffs on U.S. goods for years to the detriment of United States farmers and factories, though he did not mention any specific regulations.

Few though expect Mr Trump to back down, prompting fears of a bad-tempered summit and the prospect of leaders not agreeing the traditional end-of-summit communique.

"Because we want President Trump to be strong and successful in his negotiation with North Korea, we want the worldwide community to be credible on the Iranian nuclear program".

G7 leaders set to clash with combative Trump over tariffs, trade