Trump criticizes G7, calls for Russia’s return

Donald Trump on Friday called on the G7 to reintegrate Russia, excluded from the club in 2014. This is a new projection of the American president before his first collective confrontation with the leaders of the G7 since he imposed new tariffs on them.

“They expelled Russia, they should return to Russia. Because we should have Russia at the negotiating table,” he said, before leaving Washington on Friday morning. Russia was excluded after the annexation of Crimea, after 16 years of membership in the group.

US President Donald Trump has also said he “looks forward to reshaping the unfair trade deals” he says he has reached with the other G7 countries, whose leaders he is due to meet in Canada later today.

“I can not wait to reconsider the unfair trade agreements with the G7 countries. If that does not happen, we will do even better”, tweeted the president shortly before his departure for the summit of Malbaie in Quebec, not without having once again denounced the host country and its tariffs on milk.

The American leader, who has landed in Quebec, is the last to arrive at the G7, the summit of the club of the seven most developed economies in the world, temple of multilateral coordination.

And he will be the first to leave La Malbaie, a picturesque Quebec town overlooking the St. Lawrence, on Saturday morning to reach Singapore, where the historic summit with Kim Jong Un should take place on June 12.

The remarks of the American president on Russia triggered a first crack in the European bloc. The President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, rejected the idea during a press briefing in La Malbaie, also accusing Donald Trump of defying the international order.

>> Read also: NATO is silent on its disagreements to strengthen itself against Russia

But the new Italian council chairman, Giuseppe Conte, approved: “I agree with President Trump: Russia should return to the G8. It is in everyone’s interest,” wrote in a tweet. head of the populist government, of which this is the first international meeting.

The US president has actually been more focused on the Singapore summit.

“I may leave a little earlier, it depends on what happens”, also blurted Mr. Trump.

Faced with the six other G7 leaders, he clearly has no intention of wavering.

“The European Union treats us very badly, Canada very badly,” he told Washington.

>> Read also: Trump facing strong allies in Canada

On Twitter, he replied sharply to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who with French President Emmanuel Macron, visiting Canada since Wednesday, openly criticized the American’s protectionist withdrawal.

“Please tell Prime Minister Trudeau and President Macron that they are imposing massive taxes on the United States and creating non-tariff barriers,” he tweeted.

“When everything is put back together, we will be in love again”, quipped Donald Trump, who will only see MM. Trudeau and Macron face to face during his stay in Canada.

Protect American workers

“The president is comfortable with all of these difficult questions,” said Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council. “There is always tension over something” between the United States and the other members of the G7.

Larry Kudlow, in his remarks, denied that the United States is now engaged in a trade war with its strategic partners, as well as China, but that the United States will do what is necessary to protect American workers and industries. .

>> Read also: Trade tensions give American bosses headaches

Speaking to reporters in Brussels on Wednesday, US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said it was too early to call the tariff dispute a trade war and argued that the United States was justified in demanding equitable and reciprocal exchanges with their partners.

Preparing the ground for the G7 discussions in Quebec, Larry Kudlow said: “the world trading system is a mess, it is broken”. But, he added, “don’t blame Trump, blame the nations that broke these conditions.”

It is now clear that the United States and other G7 countries “no longer sing the same anthem” and that this has serious consequences for the world trade order, said Lynn Fischer Fox, a former deputy under secretary of the United Nations. United States Department of Commerce.

Fischer Fox, who led negotiations for a number of trade remedy disputes during the administration of former President Barack Obama, describes Trump’s approach to trade as unpredictable and capable of upsetting the established order.

Interviewed by VOA News To find out whether the administration will abide by World Trade Organization rulings filed against the United States on the tariffs recently imposed by Trump, Kudlow replied, “We are more bound by national interests than anything else in order to determine American policy. “

While there have been tensions between the United States and other G7 leaders over strategic issues, such as the placement of nuclear weapons in Europe and the war in Iraq, this rift appears much more fundamental, some say. analysts.

International rules

The United States has always followed international rules, says Fischer Fox to VOA News. “And we have confronted other nations who are using this kind of sabotage or hostage-taking tactics, to try to get what they want from the international system, outside the rules,” she said.

Fischer Fox says, “Breaking the rules doesn’t give you a way to negotiate around the rules, if they (the Trump administration) want to negotiate different rules, that’s what they should be putting on the table.”

The leaders of other countries have no political choice but to confront Trump, said Kirkegaard of the Peterson Institute at VOA News.

“If you don’t sanction an American president who behaves like this, all presidents and all members of the administration will think in the future that they can easily play with trade policies,” Kirkegaard said.

Jonathan Adelman, professor of international affairs at the University of Denver, said the G7 meeting can be useful and its members may move forward in closed-door discussions.

“When the doors are closed and the media are gone, it is entirely possible that reasonable and rational negotiations will take place,” Adelman told VOA.

European front

Justin Trudeau began welcoming his counterparts at 11:45 am (3:45 pm GMT).

The four Europeans -Emmanuel Macron, Angela Merkel, Theresa May and Giuseppe Conte- met just before the start of the G7, to create a united front against Washington’s unilateral trade policy.

Speaking in the Bundestag on Wednesday, Merkel warned that the G7 countries “must not continue to dilute” previous summit conclusions committing the group to fair multilateral trade and rejecting protectionism.

“There must not be compromise just for the sake of compromise,” said Merkel. “I am convinced that Europe will conserve and maintain its unity,” said Emmanuel Macron for his part.

But on the question of trade, it remains to be seen how far will go Japan, which is otherwise trying not to be marginalized in the negotiations between Washington and North Korea, as well as the new populist Italian government and Germany, more exposed to trade retaliation than other Europeans.

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