KeepHealthCare.ORG – G7 summit: Donald Trump to leave meeting early, missing environmental talks – Donald Trump’s America
June 10, 2018 00:01:01
Mr Trump will next fly to Singapore for his meeting with Kim Jong-un. (Reuters: Yves Herman)
US President Donald Trump has planned to leave the summit of the Group of Seven wealthy nations before it discusses climate change and the health of oceans, underlining fractures in the G7 exacerbated by US trade tariffs.
Key points:A six-plus-one tone has dominated the summit and a joint statement is unlikelyFrench official said the US and EU will establish a trade dialogue within two weeksMr Trump will leave before closing news conferences
In his final news conference before leaving, Mr Trump said trade was at the top of the agenda and the US has been taken advantage of for decades and it can not go on.
Mr Trump and G7 leaders had a bitter exchange over trade tariffs, ratcheting tensions at the summit.
In an “extraordinary” exchange between the leaders on Friday (local time), Mr Trump repeated a list of grievances about US trade — mainly with the European Union and Canada, a French presidency official said.
“And so began a long litany of recriminations, somewhat bitter reports that the United States was treated unfairly, that the trading system was totally unfavourable to the United States, the American economy, American workers, the middle class,” the official said.
“In short, a long, frank rant which is undoubtedly very unusual in this kind of formats.”
French President Emmanuel Macron responded in a “courteous but very firm tone” to present the European side of the story, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe chimed in as well, the official said.
On Saturday, Mr Trump arrived late for the first working session on gender equality but Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau forged ahead with opening remarks without him, commenting wryly about “stragglers”.
The six-plus-one tone of the gathering in Quebec means the leaders from Canada, Britain, the United States, France, Germany Italy and Japan are unlikely to issue a joint statement, too sharply divided on trade or the environment to reach consensus.
Still, a French official said on Friday the United States and European Union would establish a dialogue on trade within the next two weeks, signalling a modest step forward for the bitterly divided allies of the G7.
The two-day summit in Canada has been marred by fears of a trade war and tit-for-tat exchanges of hostile tweets, with US trading partners furious over Mr Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from Canada, the European Union and Mexico as part of his “America First” agenda.
Some countries have retaliated with their own levies on US imports.
While Mr Trump set a combative tone before even arriving at the summit with a series of tweets about unfair trade deals, he appeared affable and joking at multiple brief photo opportunities and praised Mr Macron for helping to work out trade issues.
“Something’s going to happen … I think it will be very positive,” Mr Trump said on Friday, without giving details.
Trump to skip criticism at news conferences
Mr Trump will miss allies’ closing news conferences which are expected to include criticism of his policies. (Reuters: Yves Herman)
The leaders worked late into the night on Friday at the luxurious and tightly-secured riverside hotel where the summit is being held, with the White House tweeting a photo showing the leaders huddled around a coffee table at 11:20pm, looking at what appeared to be a draft document marked up with highlighter.
Mr Trump has planned to leave the summit mid-morning on Saturday (local time) — four hours earlier than originally planned — to fly to Singapore to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un,
In his final G7 news conference, Mr Trump described his trip to Singapore as “a mission for peace” that he was “confident” about.
But his early departure means he will miss a working session among the leaders on climate change and clean energy, as well as talks among the G7 and poorer countries focused on the health of oceans.
@g7: “Day 1 of #G7Charlevoix in 60 seconds.”
The early exit also means he will be gone before allies begin closing news conferences likely to be laden with criticism of the US stance on trade and Mr Trump’s abrupt suggestion on Friday that Russia be re-admitted to the elite grouping.
Russia was suspended from the group in 2014 because of its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said EU countries at the summit agreed that the conditions to readmit Russia had not been met and even Moscow seemed to reject the suggestion.
Mr Trump’s presidency has been clouded by a federal investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, and possible collusion by his campaign.
Both Moscow and Mr Trump have denied the allegations.
Ms Merkel said that the conditions to readmit Russia to the summit had not been met. (AP: Evan Vucci)