Trump blasts Macron, Trudeau ahead of G-7 summit
President Trump on Thursday lashed out at the leaders of France and Canada over roiling trade disputes, setting the stage for a confrontational Group of Seven summit of major economic powers.
A day before leaving for the meeting in Canada, Trump singled out French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Twitter for threatening to isolate the U.S. over his efforts to change global trade rules.
“Please tell Prime Minister Trudeau and President Macron that they are charging the U.S. massive tariffs and create non-monetary barriers,” Trump wrote. “The EU trade surplus with the U.S. is $151 Billion, and Canada keeps our farmers and others out.”
The president added: “Look forward to seeing them tomorrow.”
Please tell Prime Minister Trudeau and President Macron that they are charging the U.S. massive tariffs and create non-monetary barriers. The EU trade surplus with the U.S. is $151 Billion, and Canada keeps our farmers and others out. Look forward to seeing them tomorrow.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 7, 2018
The message shows the depth of Trump’s unhappiness about the summit, where he is expected to take major backlash over his trade policies.
Macron and Trudeau met in Ottawa, Canada, this week ahead of the summit and presented a united front against Trump’s tack toward protectionism.
Asked during a joint press conference if Trump does not care about “being isolated” from other world leaders, Macron responded, “Maybe, but nobody is forever.”
“The six countries of the G7 without the United States, are a bigger market taken together than the American market,” Macron said.
Macron threatened to sign a joint communique at the conclusion with the summit with five other nations — but not the U.S. — expressing their desire for free trade.
“The American President may not mind being isolated, but neither do we mind signing a 6 country agreement if need be,” he tweeted. “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 international force.”
The president imposed steep steel and aluminum tariffs late last month on Canada, Mexico and the European Union — some of the U.S.’s closest allies.
The administration used a little-known legal provision that allows the president to unilaterally impose tariffs on those goods for national security reasons.
U.S. goods and services trade with the EU totaled nearly $1.1 trillion in 2016. Exports totaled $501 billion; Imports totaled $592 billion. The U.S. goods and services trade deficit with the EU was $92 billion in 2016.