G7 Summit: France Condemns Trump ‘Fits of Anger’
Diplomacy cannot be dictated by “fits of anger”, French President Emmanuel Macron has warned after the G7 summit in Canada ended in acrimony.
In tweets, US President Donald Trump described host Justin Trudeau as “dishonest and weak” and retracted his endorsement of the joint communique.
That statement sought to overcome deep disagreements, notably over trade.
Mr Macron’s office said France and other EU countries would maintain their support for the final G7 communique.
“Let’s be serious and worthy of our people. We make commitments and keep to them,” a statement from the French presidency quoted by AFP news agency said.
“International co-operation cannot be dictated by fits of anger and throwaway remarks,” it added.
Germany also said it would abide by the communique.
So how did the latest spat unfold?
In recent weeks, trading partners of the US have criticised new tariffs on steel and aluminium imports imposed by the Trump administration.
Saturday’s final communique aimed at easing those tensions by advocating a “rules-based trading system”.
In a news conference after the summit, the Canadian leader reasserted his opposition to the US tariffs, and vowed to press ahead with retaliatory moves on 1 July.
“Canadians are polite and reasonable but we will also not be pushed around,” he said.
Tweeting en route to his next summit in Singapore, Mr Trump said he had instructed US officials “not to endorse the communique as we look at tariffs on automobiles”.
He said the move was based on Mr Trudeau’s “false statements… and the fact that Canada is charging massive tariffs to our US farmers, workers and companies”.
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 9, 2018
Later on Sunday Mr Trump’s top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, told CNN that the president and his team had gone to the summit “in good faith” but that Mr Trudeau had “stabbed us in the back”.
Mr Trudeau’s office defended the prime minister’s statement by saying it contained nothing he had not said before, both in public and in conversations with Mr Trump.
What is in the joint communique?
The G7 summit, held in La Malbaie, Quebec province, also covered such issues as relations with Russia.
In the communique, the group of major industrial nations – Canada, the US, the UK, France, Italy, Japan and Germany – had initially agreed on the need for “free, fair, and mutually beneficial trade” and the importance of fighting protectionism.
Other agreements reached include:
- Russia: A joint demand that Moscow “cease with its destabilising behaviour” and to withdraw its support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
- Iran: A pledge to “permanently” ensure Tehran’s nuclear programme remains peaceful
- Climate: An agreement to disagree. The US refused to sign a pledge to implement the Paris climate change accord after Mr Trump announced the US would pull out of the agreement
What are the tariffs?
On 1 June, the US imposed a 25% tariff for steel and 10% for aluminium on imports from the European Union (EU), Canada, and Mexico. Mr Trump said the move would protect domestic producers that were vital to US security.
The EU then announced tariffs on US goods ranging from Harley-Davidson motorcycles to bourbon. Canada and Mexico are also taking action in retaliation.
What is the G7?
It is an annual summit bringing together seven major industrialised nations which represent more than 60% of global net worth between them.
Economics tops the agenda, although the meetings now always branch off to cover major global issues.
Russia was suspended from the group – then called the G8 – in 2014 because of its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.
On Friday, Mr Trump made a surprise call for Moscow to be readmitted but German Chancellor Angela Merkel said other members were against the idea.