Trade spat looms as Trump heads for hostile G7

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption G7 summit Trapped in the world's most secure house

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption G7 summit Trapped in the world's most secure house

Leaders of the G7 nations struggled to close a widening chasm on Friday triggered by US President Donald Trump's thrashing of global trade rules and differences in the Western alliance over climate change and the Iran nuclear deal.

The leaders from Canada, the European Union, France, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States, along with some other observer nations, had dinner at Governor-General Julie Payette's Quebec residence near La Citadelle in Quebec City Friday night.

Mr Trump had set a combative tone before leaving Washington on Friday, saying he was "going to deal with the unfair trade practices" of other G7 members.

Beyond the bilateral meetings, the G7 leaders took part in two working groups whrre discussion of trade was front and centre. But it won't solve the differences, particularly on trade, with the European Union moving toward retaliatory tariffs from July on key US goods.

US trading partners are furious over Trump's decision last week to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, the European Union and Mexico as part of his "America First" agenda.

The leaders came armed with an array of their own statistics aimed at demonstrating to Trump that he was not right to view the a victim.

"Please tell Prime Minister Trudeau and President Macron that they are charging the US massive tariffs and create non-monetary barriers", Trump wrote in another Twitter post.

On the eve of the summit meeting, a 2000 editorial resurfaced from a small British Columbia newspaper admonishing Mr. Trudeau for what it said was "inappropriately "handling" of a female reporter, creating one more fire Mr. Trudeau had to douse.

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.

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At a joint press conference on Thursday, Macron said: "A trade war doesn't spare anyone".

Trump's deteriorating relationships with Trudeau and Macron - both of whom he has previously lavished with praise - come as the USA finds itself increasingly isolated from key allies over Trump's isolationist policies, including his decisions to pull out of the Paris climate agreement and to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal. "And I saw the willingness on all the sides to find agreements and have a win-win approach for our people", he said, in a transcript circulated by the White House. "Because these 6 countries represent values, they represent an economic market which has the weight of history behind it and which is now a true worldwide force", French President Emmanuel Macron Tweeted Thursday.

Trump is provoking his fellow G7 leaders by calling for Russia's reinstatement.

In the days leading up to the summit, Trudeau and Macron have severely criticized Trump's new tariffs, which critics say threaten to drive up prices for American consumers and companies and heighten uncertainty for businesses and investors around the globe.

Trump was the last G7 leader to arrive Friday and on Saturday, he will probably be the first to leave, in a hurry to move on to his nuclear summit with North Korea's Kim Jong Un in Singapore.

Despite the lobbying and pleas, Trump has pressed ahead with tariffs as well as pulling out of the Paris climate accord. He explained that France runs trade deficits with Germany and the United Kingdom on manufactured goods, even though all three countries are part of the European Union single market and have zero tariffs between them.

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

Russia was ousted from the group after the annexation of Crimea by pro-Russian separatists in 2014.

The Russian government also appeared to snub Trump's idea. The official said disagreements remain, particularly with the USA on a number of issues, but the goal remains to reach agreement on all the big issues.

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