Trump withdraws endorsement of G7 joint statement, slams 'weak' Trudeau

10 June, 2018, 04:15 | Author: Irene Delgado
  • ImageProto-Canadians disguised as British troops set the torch to Washington in 1814 during the War of 1812

U.S. President Donald Trump accused Canada of burning down the White House during what is being termed a testy phone call with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, media reported Wednesday.

Despite weeks of harsh rhetoric aimed at European Union leaders, an upbeat President Trump said Friday that he and America's closest allies had made progress on the first day of the G7 meeting in Canada.

The two-day summit in Canada has been marred by fears of a trade war and tit-for-tat exchanges of hostile tweets, with United States trading partners furious over Mr Trump's decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from Canada, the European Union and Mexico as part of his "America First" agenda.

During a brief meeting with reporters at the Quebec resort where the leaders gathered, Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau - who had been at each other's throats for a week - even shared a few jokes.

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Trump - who regularly threatens to pull out of the North American Free Trade Agreement - insists that Canada and Mexico agree to a sunset clause that would allow a member nation to withdraw after five years.

Also hanging over negotiations are the fact that time has essentially run out for reaching a deal before the Mexican presidential election July 1 and congressional mid-terms this fall; and the new steel and aluminum tariffs that Trump has now extended to Mexico, Canada and the European Union. Macron told reporters that while Trump may not mind USA isolation, "neither do we mind signing a six country agreement if need be".

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The trade spat has dominated the meeting, with Canada and European leaders threatening retaliatory action in response to United States tariffs on steel and aluminum.

"We're like the piggy bank that everybody's robbing ― and that ends", the president said. "I think it will be very positive", Mr Trump said on Friday, without giving details.

Mr. Trump also warned that retaliating against the US tariffs would be a "mistake", suggesting that the USA might just not deal with countries who fail to treat the U.S.at his standards.

Trump has taken several measures that have infuriated fellow G7 nations, such as abandoning the Iran nuclear deal and backing out of the Paris climate accord. He says "we're not looking to play games".

Trump called the summit a "one time shot" for Kim, but expressed optimism at the beginning of talks with the North Korean regime.

Trudeau and Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland later tweeted photos of the women's empowerment meeting, showing Trump's empty chair.

"I have made it very clear to the President that it is not something we relish doing, but it is something that we absolutely will do", Trudeau said.

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