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G7 leaders must not be intimidated by Trump, say Macron and Trudeau

08 June 2018, 07:21 | Lionel James

THE CANADIAN PRESS Jonathan Hayward

Dairy cows. THE CANADIAN PRESS  Jonathan Hayward

British Prime Minister Theresa May talked to Trump by phone for a half-hour Monday and reiterated what Trudeau and others have told him about the tariffs: that they are disappointing and unjustified, a threat to jobs, and simply no way to treat friends and allies.

But observers point out that the group has never before failed to agree on some form of final communique, even in 1985, when they were likewise divided over trade.

President Donald Trump fired off what appeared to be passive-aggressive tweets to world leaders on Thursday, one day before he is set to meet G7 leaders for a summit in Canada.

Mr Macron also made reference to the joke that the G7 has become the "G6 plus one", saying: "Maybe the American president doesn't care about being isolated today, but we don't mind being six, if needs be".

Riot police stand guard atop a wall at dusk during a protest march at the G7 Summit in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, June 7, 2018.

"As I highlighted to the president, Air Force One is going to be arriving at Bagotville, at an air base that was created to protect the aluminum industry that the North American and American war effort was so dependent on in the Second World War", Trudeau said.

Last June, U.S. formalized its withdrawal from the Paris climate change accord.

Mr Trump's meeting with Mr Trudeau could be particularly frosty, given the president's recent sharp criticism of Canadian trade policies and the anger in Ottawa over Washington's decision to justify its new tariffs on national security grounds. "We have to maintain these ties".

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"We can't wage a trade war between friends", Emmanuel Macron said, adding that he the countries have to remain polite as the USA is an ally and "we need them". "I think we've done everything we can and put everything on the line", he said.

In early May, Trump announced that the us would reinstate sanctions on Iran, breaking with the landmark nuclear agreement made in 2015.

Late Thursday, Trump tweeted an apparent reply. He re-imposed sanctions against companies doing business with Iran.

Trump will hold separate bilateral meetings with Trudeau and Macron, and will also face questions on the tariffs at a broader meeting of G7 leaders on the state of the world's economy that kicks off the summit on Friday.

Canada's non-American G7 partners don't envy Trudeau, and some are downright sympathetic.

Both Macron and Trudeau went out of their way to stress the close ties between their own countries.

His decision not to fully engage at the G7 means there will be little opportunity to row back from a potential trade war over his steel tariffs with both China and the European Union planning retaliatory action. Trudeau highlighted increasing trade between France and Canada in the wake of the Canada-EU trade deal.

For his part, Macron talked about Canada's military contributions to support French operations in Mali and their shared interests in the culture and arts.



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