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G7 leaders set to clash with combative Trump over tariffs, trade

Reuters  |  QUEBEC CITY 

By Jan Strupczewski and William James

CITY (Reuters) - Leaders of the rich nations are set to clash with a combative U.S. on Friday when they pressure him to lift sanctions on and aluminum they fear could lead to a trade war.

The confrontation threatens to rupture a body that during its 43-year history has traditionally sought to find consensus on the economy and other issues.

Trump, who aides say has little interest in multilateralism, resumed his tirade against early Friday morning and appeared prepared to exit talks early without a consensus agreement among all seven countries.

"Looking forward to straightening out unfair Trade Deals with the countries. If it doesn't happen, we come out even better!" Trump tweeted early Friday morning ahead of his planned departure from to

Officials concede the mood is likely to be exceptionally tense.

"There will be some serious disagreements on a lot of things," a Canadian told reporters late on Thursday.

Although Trump says the tariffs are necessary to protect U.S. industry, and the have denounced them as illegal and are preparing retaliatory measures.

French warned Trump in a rare rebuke on Thursday that the other six members of the could form their own grouping if necessary, adding that "no leader was forever."

British took a more measured tone, telling reporters she wanted the to use restraint in its retaliation to the U.S. tariffs and that the response must be proportionate and legal.

Trump showed no sign of backing down on Friday, after earlier accusing both and of imposing massive tariffs on U.S. goods and then accusing Canadian of "being so indignant."

In response, the Canadian replied that "the and the have very frank, direct, candid, honest conversations." Trudeau and Trump are due to meet on Friday "and they will have lots to talk about," the added.

The subsequently announced the president would be leaving on Saturday, before the summit formally ends, to fly to for a meeting with North Korean leader

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

The arguments threaten to derail a meeting that Trudeau had planned to focus on inclusive growth, gender equality and protecting oceans.

The Canadian official said Trudeau remained optimistic that the summit could help find common solutions to issues such as growth and environmental protection.

In Germany, top officials called for to remain unified in the face of rising trade tensions with the even as they maintained that remained its closest partner outside of the continent.

(Additional reporting by in Washington; Jean-Baptiste Vey in Montreal; Writing by David Ljunggren; Editing by and Hugh Lawson)

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, June 08 2018. 16:31 IST