G7 agrees to fight protectionism as Trump threatens allies on trade

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and US President Donald Trump at the G7 Summit

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and US President Donald Trump at the G7 Summit

Donald Trump's top economic adviser is accusing Justin Trudeau of betraying the USA administration hours after the president himself launched insults at the prime minister, calling him "very dishonest and weak".

Earlier in the day, Trudeau had sniped about Trump's late appearance at a women's empowerment breakfast, referring to "stragglers". Later, the document was made public. "Very dishonest & weak", the president said.

Mr. Trump declared tariffs were the most important topic at the G7 summit, blasting ally nations for what he sees as them taking advantage of the U.S. He said other nations have been treating the U.S. like the "piggy back that everybody's robbing".

G7 leaders, led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Germany's Angela Merkle and French President Emmanuel Macron confronted Mr. Trump with a slew of data on import and exports to sway his thinking, but the President was unmoved.

Trump threatened at the meeting that the USA would end all trade with nations that refuse to end "unfair" trade practices.

"When we disagree with our allies on something it is right that we say so and air the issue openly and frankly", she said at a news conference.

- Canada-U.S. trade: The United States is, by far, Canada's biggest customer.

Earlier, Trudeau had told reporters that Trump's decision to invoke national security to justify U.S. tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum was "kind of insulting" to Canadian veterans who had stood by their USA allies in conflicts dating back to World War I.

He also denied the summit had been contentious, a remark that contradicted what one G7 official described as an "extraordinary" exchange on Friday in which Trump repeated a list of trade grievances, mainly concerning the European Union and Canada.

Up until now, the German government has largely adopted a policy of quiet disapproval in Trump's direction, but Maas broke the silence ahead of the G7 summit in Canada, which begins Friday. Otherwise, "we're going to make a deal directly with Canada, directly with Mexico".

"I think it would be an asset to have Russian Federation back in, I think it would be good for the world, I think it would be good for Russian Federation, I think it would be good for the United States, I think it would be good for all the countries of the current G7", he said. "You got to go tariff free", he argued.

White House Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow, who was invited by Trump to speak from the same podium, described the comments as Trump's "free trade proclamation".

Kudlow called Trudeau's press conference a "sophomoric, political stunt for domestic consumption". Signaling that his allies would not be intimated, Macron made it clear that the other six countries at G7 meeting would gladly sign deal without Trump. "Very dishonest and weak", Trump said.

What Trump is doing on trade should surprise no one.

The Trump administration announced two weeks ago that it would investigate whether auto imports hurt USA national security, the first step toward tariffs similar to the ones he imposed on steel and aluminum imports last week.

Before leaving for Singapore, Trump had delivered a stark warning to America's trading partners not to counter his decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. "To have a great military, you need a great balance sheet", he said.

Latest News