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Donald Trump calls for barrier-free trade within the G7
10 June 2018, 01:49 | Austin Hogan
US President Donald Trump and Group of Seven leaders had a bitter exchange over trade tariffs, ratcheting tensions at a summit that he planned to leave early on Saturday before talks on climate change and the health of oceans.
"If they retaliate, they're making a mistake", he said.
In the communique announced by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the group of major industrial nations - Canada, the U.S., the UK, France, Italy, Japan and Germany - agreed on the need for "free, fair, and mutually beneficial trade" and the importance of fighting protectionism.
"It is evident that the American president and the rest of the group continue to disagree on trade, climate change and the Iran nuclear deal", said Donald Tusk, president of the European Council.
In a thinly veiled swipe at the United States, the PM said "not all countries play by the rules" and insisted "just because a country has issues with its trading partners, it doesn't mean that you take unilateral against them".
European officials suggested that the upbeat, punchy news conference that Trump delivered before skipping out on the summit was aimed at his trade-skeptic supporters back home and did not reflect the results of the summit. Trump fired back, saying the U.S. had been duped for for years by barriers and that any country that imposed its own measures would regret it.
A Kremlin spokesperson meanwhile said they were interested in "other formats", apart from the G7.
For the second time in two days, President Trumpcalled for Russian Federation to be let back into the G-7.
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French President Emmanuel Macron said the agreement would be a good first step and represented the G7 nations' desire to stabilize the situation. Russian Federation was expelled from the group - which now includes France, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the US - following its annexation of Crimea in 2014.
A member of Macron's team characterised Friday's talks as "frank and robust", with Trump first repeating his lengthy diatribe about what he regards as unfair trade restrictions - before the Europeans responded with facts and figures they felt would blunt his argument.
Trump's next stop after the G7 summit is to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore. "It's going to stop, or we'll stop trading", he said.
Speaking before leaving the G-7 summit in Quebec, Trump said one of the countries is agreeable to it while the other is more concerned about the impact a sunset clause would have on long-term investment.
Representatives from other G-7 countries said they felt like they had made progress in conveying their positions to Trump, something many of them felt pressured to do by voters at home.
"This has been an ongoing project of Ambassador Huntsman, stretching back months, of getting a formal meeting between Putin and Trump", the official told the Journal.
Most leaders at the summit have clashed with Trump over new tariffs, which impose a 25 percent tax on imported steel and a 10 percent tax on imported aluminum.
Macron said he and Trump held "open and direct" discussions, adding that he thought there was a way to get a "win-win" outcome on trade, though details remained unclear.
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