Trump to stick with hard line on trade as G7 showdown looms

The president is set to meet with leaders from Mexico, Canada, Japan, Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Italy.

World leaders gather today in Quebec, Canada, for a G7 meeting that has been overshadowed by the USA decision to impose steel tariffs on allies.

Three decades after the end of the Cold War, the G7 nations are split over trade, climate and multilateral engagements such as the Iran nuclear deal, and the United States president seems more at home with autocrats than with Washington's traditional allies.

These summits are usually seen as a cheerful and informal demonstration of shared goal and responsibility among the world's richest economies.

That tweet came after Macron said France is fine with signing six-country agreement, instead of a seven-country agreement, "if need be". "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 global force", French President Emmanuel Macron Tweeted Thursday. "American jobs are on the line because of his actions".

"When we can underscore and we see there's a lot of pressure with the U.S., perhaps he will revise his position".

Macron's initiative comes six weeks after Macron and Trump exhibited their friendship at a state visit in Washington - with exaggerated handshakes and a pair of kisses. It is been reported that, in a phone call between the two leaders, Mr Trump wrongly accused Canada of "burning down the White House in 1812" as partial justification. Eventually, Trump left earlier than expected and went to Singapore to meet with Kim Jong-un.

British Prime Minister Theresa May took a more measured tone, telling reporters she wanted the European Union to use restraint in its retaliation to the US tariffs and that the response must be proportionate and legal. Canada vowed to hit the US with almost $17 billion worth of tariffs on various goods from the USA, such as toilet paper and maple syrup, and the European Union announced planned duties as well.

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He claims the United States has always been the loser in worldwide trade and that he is determined the right the balance, starting with the tariffs.

Merkel's proposal was strongly supported by other leaders at the meeting, the official said, adding that European Commission President Juncker said he was ready to invest personally in it.

"Don't blame Mr Trump, blame the nations that have broken away".

Macron also said this to reporters, setting the current diplomatic tone quite nicely: "When you're saying that President Trump doesn't really care, maybe you're right, but no one lives forever". "That's the key point".

Expectations for a breakthrough at the summit, however, are low, with USA allies focused on avoiding rupturing the G7, which in its 42-year history has tended to seek consensus on major issues.

Trump earlier on Friday had suggested that Russian Federation - which was expelled in 2014 from what was called the G8 after it annexed Crimea - should be reinstated into the club. Every year, the members of the group hold a summit to discuss economic matters. Anger over Trump's trade policies will occupy center stage at Friday's G7 meeting of the world's most advanced economies.

Trump made headlines in March when he admitted in a speech at a private fundraising event in Missouri that he didn't know if his claims of a trade deficit with Canada were true.

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