Merkel disappointed by Trump's u-turn on G7 statement Europe 09:35

Frederick Owens
June 12, 2018

Trump, who attended the day one of the summit pitched the idea of discarding all tariffs and trade barriers between the United States and its G-7 allies.

Like Canada, the European Union is preparing counter-measures against USA tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, in line with World Trade Organisation rules, Merkel said.

In the United States version, we see Mr Trump face on, apparently calm, leaning back confidently with a sceptical, nearly sarcastic air, his arms crossed in a rebuff to the other leaders, bent towards him pleadingly.

Closer home, Indian Twitter users spotted an opportunity to make the photo more relatable by editing Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Trump's place, asking when they would receive the Rs 15 lakhs Bharatiya Janata Party leaders promised each Indian would receive if they were voted into power in 2014. He later said leaders should be "worthy" of their people.

Despite Trump's withdrawal and decision to double down on restricting foreign goods entering the U.S. market, Merkel insisted that she would continue to hold talks and work together with the president.

Merkel said that "taking it back by tweet was of course sobering and also a little depressing".

The world leaders who met in Quebec, Canada, to discuss Trump's tariffs, all appeared heroic in their own shared images from the meeting.

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Trump's "America First" message to allies has hardened since he brought hardline national security adviser John Bolton on to his team. In an echo of Cold War meetings on neutral ground, Austria is encouraging the USA to hold a summit in Vienna, a White House official said last week.

Before he left the summit early to travel to Singapore to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Trump suggested Russian Federation should be allowed back in the trade group.

Trump left the meeting between the world's leading industrialized countries with a warning to USA allies, saying that if they don't remove trade barriers with the US then they will face consequences. Trump imposed tariffs of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on imported aluminum from the European Union on June 1, a move he said was meant to protect US national security.

A German official said that if Trump declines to sign a communique, it won't be the end of the G-7, but it would be a worrisome signal.

Trump left Charlevoix before the G-7 summit had concluded in order to attend the bilateral summit in Singapore with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The official said disagreements remain, particularly with the USA on a number of issues, but the goal remains to reach agreement on all the big issues.

Britain's ITV reported that Macron called Trump's Twitter posts "fits of anger and throwaway remarks".

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