Critics take aim at President Trump's call for Russian Federation to rejoin G7

Elias Hubbard
June 9, 2018

President Donald Trump arrived in Quebec, Canada Friday for what is likely to be an incredibly tense meeting of the economic superpowers known as the Group of 7 (G7) - Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, and the U.S.

"Please tell Prime Minister Trudeau and President Macron that they are charging the United States massive tariffs and create non-monetary barriers", he tweeted.

One other G-7 leader, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, said in a tweet he supports Trump's suggestion. Calls for the invitation to be rescinded grew last November after Mr Trump retweeted three inflammatory anti-Muslim videos posted by far-right group Britain First.

Trump has left little doubt he has grown impatient with his northern neighbour, tweeting at French President Emmanuel Macron and Trudeau, with his volleys growing increasingly personal towards the Canadian prime minister.

Trudeau and his fellow G7 leaders will try to persuade Trump to reverse the duties during the summit.

The president said he was unconcerned about raising a trade ruckus at the gathering that usually emphasizes unity and downplays its disagreements.

The US president sparred with both leaders over trade well into Thursday night, accusing the European Union and Canada of unfair business practices, and then resumed his polemic soon after 6am US time, complaining about Canadian dairy tariffs. President Donald Trump told reporters on Friday that he thought that Russian Federation should be reinstated, which would make the group the G8 again.

Trump dug in his heels Thursday, though, and hit back with the following message the night before the leaders will meet face-to-face at the G7 summit in Quebec. "If it doesn't happen, we come out even better!", he states. Trump said at the White House just before departing.

"Looking forward to straightening out unfair Trade Deals with the G7 countries", Trump tweeted.

The US president also finds himself virtually isolated on the Iran nuclear deal and climate change.

French president Emmanuel Macron, who describes Mr Trump as a "friend", has taken a more confrontational approach ahead of the summit.

"We need the President to be able to distinguish between our allies and adversaries, and to treat each accordingly", he said in a statement.

Trump has long called on Canada to stop protecting its dairy farmers from US competition amid ongoing efforts to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Macron made initial headway in forming a public friendship with Trump, but has failed to sway the USA leader on any issue, while Merkel has been distracted by coalition negotiations.

At the start of the Trump's presidency, many foreign leaders worked to develop cordial relationships with him, hoping that it would help to make Trump more willing to compromise on some of his more contentious campaign promises.

"Because these six countries represent values, they represent an economic market which has the weight of history behind it and which is now a true worldwide force".

Trump took the action on the grounds that weak domestic industries could affect US national security.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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