Published: Sat, June 09, 2018
Business | By Tara Barton

Group photo masks underlying tension at G-7 summit


"And in the G-7, which used to be the the G-8 - they threw Russia out - they should let Russia come back in because we should have Russia at the negotiating table".

"They should let Russian Federation come back in because we should have Russian Federation at the negotiating table", he said.

Trump's comments throw another wrench into the Group of Seven gathering underway in a scenic region just north of the ME border.

In response, Mr. Trudeau pushed back for the first time, with punitive tariffs of his own on American imports worth $12.8 billion, and Canadians largely applauded.

The other G7 leaders - from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan, as well as the presidents of the European Commission and European Council - have been trying to impress upon Trump the complexity of trade issues, insisting that his oft-repeated complaint about the trade imbalance between the us and allies on many manufactured goods is only part of the picture. "If it doesn't happen, we come out even better!" The tit-for-tat risks a full blown trade war, something economists have said would be bad for all involved.

Sebastian Mallaby, a senior fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations, described the relationships between the USA and the rest of the G-7 as at a "new level of crisis", saying that it was not just about trade but "a general US attitude toward the system".

Russian Federation was suspended from what was then called the G8 in 2014 because of its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

The confrontation over USA tariffs on steel and aluminum threatened to rupture the G7, which during its 43-year history has traditionally sought to find consensus on the economy and other issues.

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"On issue after issue, he's failed to do that", Schumer said.

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Italy, France, Germany and the United Kingdom are members of the EU. The Europeans in the group - France, Germany, Britain and Italy - had been proud of their united front.

"Canada's position has not changed", Chantal Gagnon, a spokeswoman for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, said in an email. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker offered to visit Washington for an assessment of EU-US trade to help resolve the dispute, an official said.

However, Trump wasn't the only one calling for Russia's return.

While he's taken a tougher stance on traditional US allies, Trump - who remains under investigation as part of an inquiry into potential collusion between his presidential campaign and the Kremlin - has charted a warmer course with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

But Mr Trump struck a more affable tone after a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, saying the French leader was helping work out trade issues.

But on the tariff file, the leaders were sounding a more positive note Friday. Mr. Trump's United States doesn't worry about allies.

"The American President may not mind being isolated, but neither do we mind signing a 6 country agreement if need be".

Meanwhile, White House also noted in a press release that Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and their respective delegations are close to strike a NAFTA deal.

On the eve of the summit, Trump had lashed out on Twitter at Macron and Trudeau, who had criticized Trump's trade stance at a joint news conference on Thursday in Ottawa.The White House then announced Trump would skip some of the G-7 sessions and depart for Singapore on Saturday morning, several hours earlier than planned.

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