G7 between Trump and industrialized nations falls apart over tariffs

Hours after leaving the G7 conference, President Trump insulted Canadian leader Justin Trudeau and declared the U.S. wouldn’t sign the meeting communique after having agreed to do so.

What happened?

prior to the G7 meeting

President Trump imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum from the European Union, Canada and Mexico, saying the tariffs will help to protect American jobs and boost the economy.

Canada was particularly furious and responded by setting its own dollar-for-dollar tariffs on everything from steel products to agricultural items.

the meeting ends

The meeting ends with the leaders agreeing to sign a communiqué, or a summary of the things that were discussed and settled during the event.

Before jetting off on Air Force One, Trump said his relationship with French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Mr. Trudeau is “a 10” and that he blamed previous U.S. administrations–not America’s allies—for “bad” trade deals.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe praised the group for working passed disagreements on trade to sign the final, joint, statement.

The meeting seemed to end on a positive note, and marked a step forward, perhaps, in overcoming the anger following the imposition of U.S. tariffs, among other things.

on Air Force One

A U.S. official sends a statement to reporters saying that “President Trump has joined the Charlevoix G7 Summit Communique.” In other words, Trump supports the things that were discussed at the meeting and will sign the communique that summarizes them.

meanwhile, on the ground

Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau—the host of this year’s meeting—said, at a press conference, that they had “some strong, firm conversations on trade, specifically American tariffs.” He added that Canada “will not be pushed around” and that it would move forward with retaliatory tariffs against U.S. products.

“We do not want to harm American workers, or harm trade between Canada and the U.S.,” Mr. Trudeau said. “But the administration’s choice to impose illegitimate and unacceptable tariffs…must be met with clear and firm response. I will do that without flinching.”

back on Air Force One, that’s when everything changed

Trump heard or saw or was briefed on Trudeau’s press conference. He tweeted that Canadian leader Justin Trudeau had acted “meek” in meetings, then talked tough in a news conference.

Trump also said he would no longer sign the communiqué.

Not sure what the G7 is? Geek out on it here. And, not sure whether Trump’s about-face was a power move that can bring results or an emotional response that set back U.S. relations with allies? Let’s talk.

Click here to read the WSJ article.

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