Quebec City protesters promise 'day of disruption' as G7 talks begin

James Marshall
June 9, 2018

Trump fired back, going after Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and accusing Brussels and Ottawa of "totally unfair" tariffs and trade barriers, which hurt American farmers, workers and companies. The White House also announced he would cut short his time at the two-day summit and leave on Saturday morning.

The president said the ideal situation would be a completely free trade system with the other G-7 nations - Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Canada. We have to change it.

Trump also said that Russian Federation should be allowed again to attend G7 summits.

"In a country like Canada, I find it extremely important that people are able to express their agreement or disagreement with politics, individuals, their concerns", Trudeau said.

Protesters took to the streets of Quebec City on Friday, June 8, for a "day of disruption" to demonstrate against the G7 conference taking place near the city.

Officials concede the mood is likely to be exceptionally tense.

Martin, who participated in both G7 finance ministers' meetings and leaders' summits as prime minister when the forum was configured as the G8 to include Russian Federation, told Xinhua that Canada's harsh response to the U.S.tariffs was "warranted" and noted that "never in my time have I seen an issue which has so galvanized people" at those gatherings.

Although Trump said the tariffs are necessary to protect USA industry and workers, Canada and the European Union have denounced them as illegal and are preparing retaliation, raising the prospect of a tit-for-tit escalation. On Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted about President Trump's "isolation" and said the other members of the Group of Seven would be ready to sign a six-country agreement "if need be".

Trudeau has also forcefully criticized the tariffs, imposed under the pretext of USA national security concerns, and hoped "that at some point. common sense will prevail", he told reporters at a May 31 news conference with Freeland shortly after the US tariffs were announced.

Speaking to reporters before leaving for his meeting in Singapore with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Trump tried to downplay any notion that the meeting in Canada was contentious.

While the G7 leaders have largely praised Trump for his efforts to stabilize the Korean peninsula, they are unhappy he pulled out of an agreement created to limit Iran's nuclear ambitions.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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