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Trump vows to 'straighten out' G7 trade ahead of tense meeting

Reuters  |  LA MALBAIE, Quebec 

By and Jan Strupczewski

LA MALBAIE, (Reuters) - U.S. lashed out at and the on Friday and said he plans to leave a meeting with leaders of the nations early as fears of a trade war ratcheted higher.

The confrontation over U.S. tariffs on and aluminum threatened to rupture the G7, which during its 43-year history has traditionally sought to find consensus on the economy and other issues.

Trump, who aides said has little interest in multilateralism, resumed his tirade against and "unfair trade deals" with countries early Friday morning. The said he would leave talks four hours earlier than originally planned.

By departing early, the U.S. leader will miss talks about climate change and clean energy, and be out of the country by the time Canadian and other leaders begin closing conferences likely to be laden with criticism of U.S. trade policy.

"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 before he was to leave for

Officials conceded the mood will likely be exceptionally tense.

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

Although Trump said 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 might form their own group, adding that "no leader was forever."

British took a more measured tone, telling reporters she wanted the to use restraint in retaliation against 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 Canada of imposing massive tariffs on U.S. goods, and then accusing Canadian of "being so indignant."

The Canadian responded that "the prime minister 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 leave on Saturday, before the summit formally ends, to fly to to meet with North Korean leader

While the chiefs 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 disputes threaten to derail a meeting that Trudeau had planned, focusing 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 the continent.

(Additional reporting by in Washington; Jean-Baptiste Vey in Montreal; Writing by David Ljunggren; Editing by Paul Tait, and Jeffrey Benkoe)

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

First Published: Fri, June 08 2018. 17:50 IST
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