LA MALBAIE, Que. — Solidifying his solo status on the world stage, President Donald Trump is lashing out at longtime allies over their critiques of his trade policies and plans an early exit from the annual Group of Seven meeting of industrialized nations.
Trump will descend Friday on the annual gathering, held this year at a Quebec resort, but will leave Saturday morning before the event is over, heading out to Singapore for his highly anticipated summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The White House announced his travel plans after French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau signalled they will use the event to take a stance against new U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.
“Looking forward to straightening out unfair Trade Deals with the G-7 countries,” Trump tweeted early Friday. “If it doesn’t happen, we come out even better.”
Trump also singled out tariffs on U.S. dairy products in yet another scathing tweet directed at Canada just before the summit begins.
At a joint press conference on Thursday, Macron stressed: “A trade war doesn’t spare anyone. It will start first of all to hurt U.S. workers.” Trudeau said: “We are going to defend our industries and our workers.”
Trudeau, for his part, said Trump’s action would hurt American workers as well as Canadians.
“If I can get the president to actually realize that what he’s doing is counterproductive for his own goals as well, perhaps we can move forward in a smarter way,” Trudeau said.
As tempers frayed, Trump had a ready retort, via tweet: “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.”