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Trump torpedoes G7 effort to ease trade spat

  • The combative G-7 summit, summed up in one surreal photo
    In tweets, US President Donald Trump described host Justin Trudeau as "dishonest and weak" and retracted his endorsement of the joint communique. The combative G-7 summit, summed up in one surreal photo
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U.S. President Donald Trump threw the G7’s efforts to show a united front into disarray after taking aim at Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, adding he might double down on import tariffs by hitting the sensitive auto industry.

Having left the Group of Seven summit in Canada early, Trump’s announcement that he was backing out of the joint communique torpedoed what appeared to be a fragile consensus on the trade dispute between Washington and its top allies.

“PM Justin Trudeau of Canada acted so meek and mild during our @G7 meetings only to give a news conference after I left saying that, ‘US Tariffs were kind of insulting’ and he ‘will not be pushed around.’ Very dishonest & weak. Our Tariffs are in response to his of 270% on dairy!” the U.S. president tweeted.

In his press conference, Trudeau had spoken of retaliatory measures that Canada would take next month in response to Trump’s decision to slap tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union.

“Canadians, we’re polite, we’re reasonable but we also will not be pushed around,” Trudeau, the host of the two-day summit in La Malbaie, Quebec, told reporters.

Reacting to Trump’s tweets, Trudeau’s office said: “We are focused on everything we accomplished here at the summit. The Prime Minister said nothing he hasn’t said before - both in public, and in private conversations with the President.”

In the photo, German Chancellor Angela Merkel stands behind a long, narrow table, both hands pressed firmly into its surface atop some documents that are angled every which way. With as neutral an expression as possible, she stares directly at President Donald Trump, who sits on the other side of the divide.

Is he angry? Bored? Amused? Rare is the countenance where all three are equally plausible, but here it's difficult to say. Trump's eyes stare blankly ahead, focused in the direction of Merkel but not quite affixed upon the German chancellor. His arms are crossed in front of his chest, revealing below them only the length and wayward tendency of his tie.

Surrounding Merkel and Trump are a slew of other leaders, each with an unplaceable gaze. From his partially obscured side profile, one can only make out French President Emmanuel Macron's furrowed forehead. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is fully visible in the frame but his thoughts remain just as inscrutable as the others', with his arms also crossed against his chest and his glance somewhere over Merkel's head.