Published: Mon, June 11, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

G7 summit 'commotion' has brought European Union closer together, says German economy minister

G7 summit 'commotion' has brought European Union closer together, says German economy minister

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has vowed retaliatory action next month over USA tariffs on steel and aluminum.

While G-7 members have been sharing concerns over North Korea, disputes with the United States over trade have been escalating.

Onn 1 June, the U.S. imposed a 25% tariff for steel and 10% for aluminum on imports from the European Union (EU), Canada, and Mexico.

Trudeau said Canada planned to retaliate after the Trump administration announced tariffs last month that will be coming as of July 1.

"The issue of tariffs can not be looked at in isolation, we must also think about issues such as subsidies", she said.

Germany's Angela Merkel later described Mr Trump's decision to reject the joint communiqué initially agreed between the G7 leaders as "sobering" and "depressing".

Nearly as an afterthought, Trump - now in Singapore for a summit with North Korean leader Kum Jong Un - tweeted: "Great to be in Singapore, excitement in the air!"

Last week, Canada hit back at Trump administration by announcing retaliatory tariffs on up to 16.6 billion Canadian dollars (12.8 billion USA dollars) worth of US steel and aluminum as well as a diverse list of other products.

Trump doubles down on criticism of EU, Canada
It's true Ontario's next premier has expressed his like and respect for President Donald Trump in the past. Trump "did the courtesy to Justin Trudeau to travel up to Quebec for that summit".

"Fair trade is now to be called fool trade if it is not reciprocal", he wrote in another, referring to Canada's allegedly unfair trading policy with the USA and continuing his personal twitter feud with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Speaking at his closing news conference, Trudeau says the G7 has agreed to an "ambitious" communique - but he did not immediately release a document or provide details of where the exclusive club of wealthy democracies found common ground. "What we did this weekend was come together, roll up our sleeves and figure out a consensus language that we could all agree to", Trudeau said in the town of La Malbaie where leaders had been meeting since Friday morning. "We must put the American worker first!"

"There's a special place in hell for any foreign leader that engages in bad-faith diplomacy with President Donald J. Trump and then tries to stab him in the back on the way out the door", he said.

After Trump's angry tweets, Trudeau's office issued a brief response: "We are focused on everything we accomplished here at the G7 summit".

Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland added that "Canada does not conduct its diplomacy through ad hominem attacks, we don't think that it's a useful or productive way to do business and perhaps we refrain particulary from ad hominem attacks when it comes to our relationship with our allies".

Trudeau also said, "The US will not allow other countries to impose massive tariffs and trade barriers on its farmers, workers and companies". "International cooperation can not be dictated by fits of anger and throwaway remarks", President Emmanuel Macron's office said in a statement to AFP, adding that reneging on the commitments agreed in the statement showed "incoherence and inconsistency".

Also in response, Larry Kudlow, director of the White House's National Economic Council, said on Sunday in an interview with CNN that Trudeau betrayed Trump with "polarizing" statements on USA trade policy. "We make commitments and keep to them". Trudeau pulled a "sophomoric political stunt for domestic consumption" that amounted to "a betrayal", said Kudlow, who appeared on CNN's State of the Union and CBS' Face the Nation. "We strive to reduce tariff barriers, non-tariff barriers and subsidies", it said. "When I'm telling them, they're smiling at me". Trump said Duterte had done an "unbelievable job on the drug problem".

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