Published: Tue, June 12, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

USA steel-aluminium tariffs result in European Union counter-measures

USA steel-aluminium tariffs result in European Union counter-measures

In response to Mr Trump's decision to withhold United States support for the summit conclusions, a senior UK government source said: "We stand by the commitments made in the G7 communique".

The center-right leader said a tariff-free area among G7 allies would be an ideal outcome, but she made clear that any talks about such a trade bloc would have to include non-tariff barriers to trade as well as free access to public tenders.

Mr Trump had already threatened to divide the G7, made up of the US, France, UK, Italy, Germany, Japan and Canada, when he suggested Russian Federation should be allowed to rejoin the group.

Merkel said the contentious meeting drives home the point she's made for more than a year: that the European Union needs to stand together to increase its clout on the world stage and that the USA is a less reliable partner.

"I have instructed our US Reps not to endorse the Communique as we look at Tariffs on automobiles flooding the US Market!"

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, center, speaks with President Donald Trump, seated at right, during the G7 Leaders Summit in La Malbaie, Quebec, Canada, on Saturday, June 9, 2018.

Like virtually all German media, Berlin's daily Tagesspiegel ran the picture prominently and said Trump's caustic tweets upending the summit conclusions had "shaken the West".

The European leader-famed for negotiating compromise without political histrionics-gave an uncharacteristically candid and combative assessment of relations with Trump as she spoke to German channel ARD, after last week's G-7 summit. Tell us in the comment section below.

"I don't want us to keep inflating our language", she added, saying the word "depressed" was "already a lot, coming from me", in an ironic reference to her usual unflappable appearance.

Mr Trump on Saturday threw the G-7's efforts to show a united front into disarray after he became angry with Mr Trudeau, and said he might double down on import tariffs by hitting the sensitive auto industry.

The EU has vowed to retaliate against US metal tariffs imposed by US President Donald Trump, and tensions worsened at a Group of Seven summit in Canada after Trump rejected an attempt to write a consensus statement and bitterly insulted the Canadian host. After hearing Canadian prime minister's comments vowing to retaliate for USA tariffs on steel and aluminum during a news conference, Trump tweeted that Trudeau had made "false statements", and White House officials had harsh criticism for Trudeau during the Sunday morning news programs.

The US leader has blasted Europeans, Germany above all, for failing to spend enough on their own defence, claiming they are taking advantage of US military power. Highlighting that the document is still "legally-binding" as far as Germany is concerned, Merkel said she would uphold it but her patience after Trump's about-face had worn thin.

Mere hours earlier, Trudeau had announced that all G7 countries had signed the joint communique.

Turning to Russia, Merkel said she could imagine Moscow re-joining the G7 format at some point, but there first had to be progress in the implementation of the peace plan for Ukraine.

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