G7 allies confront Trump with trade numbers at tense summit

Trump, Macron trade shots before G7 summit

Another point of contention for President Trump among his G-7 counterparts could be climate change, which is one of the main focal points of the G-7 summit.

The U.S. president's personal attack on the prime minister heightened the potential for confrontation when the two leaders have their first face-to-face meeting in Canada on Friday after Trump's arrival.

"Trump said he was attending the G7 summit to "[straighten] out unfair Trade Deals" with Canada, France and other close US allies, he tweeted early Friday.

"We should at least consider no tariffs, no barriers - scrapping all of it", Trump said, according to officials who were listening and taking notes.

The US president floated the idea - which was received as somewhat rhetorical - as a meeting of the G7 leaders was breaking up.

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"With that being said, Russian Federation should be in this meeting", he said. The remaining members, led by President Barack Obama, expelled it in a sign of global resolve not to let worldwide borders be redrawn by force. "It is in everyone's interest".

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Deputy Assistant to the President for International Economic Affairs Everett Eissenstat, will represent the United States for the G7 sessions that Trump will skip Saturday. "Such language will dismay America's friends and embolden our adversaries".

The main meetings will be held two-and-a-half hours north of Quebec City - and of the worldwide media centre housing most of the reporters following the summit - in La Malbaie, Charlevoix. It may not be politically correct, he told reporters, but it's the right thing to do.

Macron came to Ottawa ahead of the G7 summit in part to talk strategy with Trudeau on how to deal with a mercurial president who likes to be liked.

"Canada will not change its mind when it comes to the illegal and absolutely unjustified application of tariffs on steel and aluminum", Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said on Friday.

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"The European Union and Japan have indicated a willingness to engage as evidenced by joint trade ministerial statements issued in Buenos Aires in December 2017, in Brussels in March 2018 and just last week in Paris", added Bown, who served on former President Barack Obama's White House Council of Economic Advisers. The White House announced his travel plans after French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau signaled they would use the G7 event to take a stance against new US tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

"We focus on other formats", TASS quoted Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying.

Also new is an ongoing US federal investigation into whether Trump's associates co-operated in Russia's efforts to sway the 2016 presidential election.

Earlier on Twitter, Macron said six of the seven G7 countries "do not mind" signing an agreement if need be - essentially isolating the United States.

Trump took the action on the grounds that weak domestic industries could affect USA national security.

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At last year's summit in Sicily, Mr Trump would not agree to sign a closing statement on climate change and withdrew the U.S. from the Paris agreement days later. "For this reason, we commit to adopting appropriate policies so that all firms and citizens can make the most of opportunities offered by the global economy".

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