Trump decides to leave G7 meeting in Quebec early after trade dispute

Trump decides to leave G7 meeting in Quebec early after trade dispute

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

President Trump on Saturday said the United States will not endorse a G7 communique via a tweet accusing Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of making "false statements".

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Saturday rejected a USA demand for a sunset clause in NAFTA but said he was prepared to compromise on the issue, which is holding up talks to update the 1990s-era pact.

Trump set the tone before leaving Washington on Friday.

In their communique, the leaders of the United States, Canada, Britain, France, Italy, Germany and Japan agreed on the need for "free, fair, and mutually beneficial trade" and the importance of fighting protectionism. We have a world to run. We have to change it.

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

Trump contends that other countries "have been taking advantage of the United States on trade". The EU is also attending. Both Moscow and Trump have denied the allegations.

Speaking in a solo press conference from the resort town of La Malbaie in Quebec, the president said that for too long, US trade has suffered from "bad" trade deals agreed to by past USA presidents. Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the foreign relations committee in Russia's upper house of parliament has said that the country should only rejoin the group on its terms - "with sanctions removed and interests respected".

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Trump's tweets about not signing the communique were sent while he was traveling to Singapore ahead of a planned diplomatic meeting with North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un.

The Canadian government official said there could be meaningful progress on less controversial issues at the summit such as economic growth, the environment and gender equality. "Or we're going to make a deal directly with Canada, directly with Mexico", Trump said Saturday. "The EU trade surplus with the USA is $151bn, and Canada keeps our farmers and others out".

Officials have conceded the mood at the summit will likely be exceptionally tense.

The president suggested the idea of ending all tariffs on trade barriers between the USA and its G7 allies. He called many current tariffs on USA goods and services "ridiculous".

The prospect that he could be moving towards an even greater protectionist trade policy is likely to chill financial markets anxious about tit-for-tit escalation that could lead to a full-blown global trade war.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte arrives in Canada for the G7.

It was not immediately clear where the new round of aggression would leave the two leaders and their mercurial attempts to find trade peace.

Trump has long criticized the United States' goods deficit.

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