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After 'difficult' G7 summit, UK's May warns against unilateral action on trade

Reuters  |  LONDON 

(Reuters) - British said on Monday that a meeting of the leaders in had been "difficult" and that countries had to avoid taking unilateral action in order to protect the global trading system.

A divisive summit in at the weekend ended with U.S. firing off a volley of tweets, venting anger against NATO allies, the and Canadian

Trump has slapped import tariffs on metals, saying he has to protect American jobs against what he says is unfair competition.

"This was a difficult summit with, at times, some very candid discussions," May told parliament.

Having left the summit early, Trump's announcement that he was backing out of a joint communique torpedoed what appeared to be a fragile consensus on the trade dispute between and its main allies

May said that she would not ignore the concerns of allies, but that multilateral action was the right way to address the problems caused by globalisation for workers in some countries.

"It cannot be done by taking unilateral action against your partners," she said. "So at this summit, we expressed deep disappointment at the unjustified decision of the to apply tariffs to and aluminium imports."

May warned of the risks of a tit-for-tat escalation of the trade dispute and said Britain continued to support the communique, which mentioned the need for "free, fair, and mutually beneficial trade" and the importance of fighting protectionism.

The groups the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Britain, and

Responding to Trump's call for to be readmitted to the G7, turning it back into the G8, May said there had been "good reason" to expel after its annexation of Ukraine's in 2014.

"Any conversations about whether or not can come back round the table cannot take place until has changed its attitude," she said.

Britain's strained relationship with Russia deteriorated further this year when May accused of being behind a nerve agent attack on a former Russian and his daughter in England in March. Russia denies involvement in the

(Reporting by and William Schomberg; Editing by Gareth Jones)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, June 11 2018. 22:18 IST