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Trump rails against 'unfair' trade at G7 leaders summit

Reuters  |  LA MALBAIE, Quebec 

By Roberta and Vey

LA MALBAIE, (Reuters) - U.S. railed against trade practices he called unfair to the at a nations summit where leaders agreed on Saturday to fight protectionism and reform the

"We're like the that everybody is robbing," Trump said at a press conference shortly before leaving the gathering of the United States, Canada, Great Britain, France, Italy, and "It's going to stop now or we'll stop trading with them (other nations)."

German acknowledged differences between the and the six other members of the remained, but said a joint statement on trade was expected to be issued at the end of the two-day summit in La Malbaie,

"For us, it was important that we have a commitment for a rule-based trade order, that we continue to fight against protectionism and that we want to reform the WTO," Merkel told reporters.

along with other members, and were stung last week when Trump imposed tariffs on imports of their aluminum and to the

The German leader said there was broad agreement among leaders that tariffs and other trade barriers should be reduced. "These are jointly shared principles, although the pitfalls lie in the details," she said.

"For us, it was important that we have a commitment for a rule-based trade order, that we continue to fight against protectionism and that we want to reform the WTO," Merkel said.

Trump, who repeated that the tariffs are meant to protect U.S. industry and workers from what he describes as unfair international competition, said he had suggested to the other leaders that all trade barriers, including tariffs and subsidies, be eliminated.

He denied that the summit had been contentious, a remark that contradicted what one G7 described as an "extraordinary" exchange on Friday.

Trump repeated a list of grievances about U.S. trade, mainly with the EU and Canada, a French presidency told reporters.

"And so began a long litany of recriminations, somewhat bitter reports that the United States was treated unfairly, that the trading system was totally unfavorable to the United States, the American economy, American workers, the middle class," the said.

"In short, a long, frank rant which is undoubtedly very unusual in this kind of formats," the official added.

French responded in a "courteous but very firm tone" to present the European side of the story, and Japanese chimed in as well, the official said.

EARLY EXIT

Trump left before the end of the summit on Saturday. He will fly to to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, which he described as a "mission of peace."

Apart from trade, there also was disagreement over the G7's position on climate change and Trump's suggestion that be re-admitted to the group.

was suspended in 2014 because of its annexation of Crimea from Merkel said on Saturday there must first be progress on a peace plan before there is any talk about readmitting

Trump's presidency has been clouded by a federal investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, and possible collusion by his campaign. Both and Trump have denied the allegations.

(Additional reporting by Vey, David Ljunggren, Giselda Vagnoni, and and Jonathan Landay in Washington; Writing by and Paul Simao; Editing by and Susan Thomas)

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

First Published: Sat, June 09 2018. 23:57 IST
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