G7 summit dogged by divisions between Trump and allies

Justin Trudeau in New Delhi Feb 2018

Justin Trudeau in New Delhi Feb 2018

Leaders of the G7 group of nations will continue their meeting in Canada today.

Merkel said it was not clear whether the group would issue a final directive, adding that failure to do so would be an honest reflection of the lack of agreement among Canada, the United States, Japan, Britain, Italy, France and Germany.

The comments come one day after Trump called Trudeau "indignant" on Twitter Thursday night, and referenced a tariff of up to "300% on dairy" saying he was hurting US farmers.

Trump's comments Friday on Russian Federation also could alienate him from his own party. For example, they told Trump that millions of European citizens own Apple iPhones.

The U.S. president has recently whacked all the other members of the G7 with hefty steel and aluminum tariffs and is threatening to also impose tariffs on auto imports, which would also hit them hard.

British Prime Minister Theresa May took a more measured tone, telling reporters she wanted the European Union to use restraint in retaliation against US tariffs and that the response must be proportionate and legal. President Trump tweeted directly at the leaders he was about to sit down with.

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European leaders met separately Friday ahead of the G7 summit in La Malbaie, a golf resort north of Quebec City, and presented Trump with a united front "backed by facts and figures" to counter his charge, officials said.

President Donald Trump will cut short his time at the G7 summit in Canada, which begins Friday, amid a public feud with several leaders on trade and climate change.

"Please tell Prime Minister Trudeau and President Macron that they are charging the USA massive tariffs and create non-monetary barriers", Trump wrote on Twitter Thursday.

Trump's suggestion of readmitting Russian Federation was unlikely to gain any traction at the gathering of the group that includes the United States, Canada, Japan, Britain, Italy, France and Germany.

"The president has inexplicably shown our adversaries the deference and esteem that should be reserved for our closest allies", McCain said in a written statement, The Hill reports.

G7 leaders have been supportive of the upcoming Trump-Kim summit next Tuesday, which may pave the way for North Korea's denuclearization, whereas Trump's decision to pull his country out of a deal with Iran to have it wind down nuclear research in exchange for sanctions easing was criticized.

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Trump also railed against French President Emmanuel Macron in a separate tweet.

But Trump is provoking his fellow G7 leaders by calling for Russia's reinstatement in the group, after it was kicked out for invading Ukraine four years ago.

Trump floated the idea - which was received as somewhat rhetorical - as the meeting was breaking up and was quickly challenged by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who asked, "What about subsidies?"

Mr Trump's imposition of tariffs on steel and aluminium imports has sparked anger, with even USA allies falling subject to them.

Earlier this month, the White House announced that it would no longer exempt Canada, the European Union, and Mexico from punishing tariffs on steel and aluminum, citing national security and concerns of unfairness.

But Mr Trump predicted the G7 countries would agree on a joint statement after holding talks with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

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"The American President may not mind being isolated, but neither do we mind signing a 6 country agreement if need be", Mr. Macron said. Then he pulled the USA out of the Paris accord the following week.

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