Trump Breaks With G-7 to Urge Russia’s Return, Jabs ‘Unfair Trade’

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The G7 - or group of seven - comprises the largest advanced economies in the world: the UK, US, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and Italy.

Trump's comments on agriculture, his 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.

"Trump is very selfish and I think he views flattery as a one-way street where he gets flattered and then there's no real reciprocal benefit going back the other direction", one former White House official told Politico.

"Please tell Prime Minister Trudeau and President Macron that they are charging the United States massive tariffs and create non-monetary barriers", he tweeted. "The lines are open, the negotiations are ongoing".

I am heading for Canada and the G-7 for talks that will mostly center on the long time unfair trade practiced against the United States.

Larry Kudlow, the director of the U.S. National Economic Council, tried to counter that narrative Wednesday. His predecessors pressed for freer global trade and championed a trading system that required countries to follow World Trade Organization rules.

Last month, when Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called Donald Trump for a justification over hiked steel and aluminium tariffs, the US President presented a stupefying historical poser. Trade and Iran are not on the formal agenda, and the president is departing the G-7 meeting early, before the release of the joint statement. A senior US diplomat said her frequent demands annoy him, something he sees as taking advantage of the UK-US relationship.

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

The comments come one day after Trump called Trudeau "indignant" on Twitter Thursday night, and referenced a tariff of up to "300% on dairy" saying he was hurting USA farmers.

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The president is set to meet with leaders from Mexico, Canada, Japan, Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Italy.

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

A few days ago, Trudeau called the metal tariffs-25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum-"insulting". US stocks were trading higher on Wednesday.

The US president sparred with both leaders over trade well into Thursday night, accusing the European Union and Canada of unfair business practices, and then resumed his polemic soon after 6am US time, complaining about Canadian dairy tariffs.

Tension has been building over a year of policymaking that has distanced the USA from traditional allies, including by Trump's decisions to withdraw the US from the Paris climate accord and the Iran nuclear agreement. If the administration treats allies as enemies it will turn European anger into rage. The EU is also attending the summit.

Trudeau has said the Quebec summit offers the G7 leaders an opportunity to find solutions to their many differences.

"I will of course try to speak to the USA president about the current problems that we have overall, in particular on Iran and on trade tariffs", Merkel told the Bundestag lower house of parliament during a question-and-answer session with lawmakers.

A French presidential source said Mr Trump's proposal did not seem "coherent" in view of the latest economic sanctions imposed by the United States on Moscow.

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