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

Trump vows to deal with 'unfair trade' ahead of tense G7 summit

Trump lambasted Canada early Friday morning and appeared prepared to exit talks early without a consensus agreement among all seven countries.

"The objective of the G's - whether the G7 or the G20 - is to essentially give the pertinent ministers and the leaders the opportunity to deal with issues of this kind and hopefully prevent issues of this kind", explained Martin, who served as Canada's prime minister from 2003 to 2006, and as the country's finance minister from 1993 to 2002.

"It's the free speech zone here, but we're just preaching in the desert, because in my opinion the G7 leaders won't really come here", said Sujata Dey of The Council of Canadians. "And they understand it's going to happen", Trump said before departing for the summit in La Malbaie, Quebec.

Officials concede the mood is likely to be exceptionally tense. The meeting comes as US President Donald Trump continues to pursue a protectionist stance on trade.

From left to right: British Prime Minister Theresa May, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, US President Donald Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, French President Emmanuel Macron, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was asked Thursday in Saguenay, Que., if he had a message for protesters in Quebec City.

Ahead of the summit, the two presidents had engaged in a Twitter spat, in which the French president suggested that a G6 agreement could be signed without the U.S., while Trump accused Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of "charging the United States massive tariffs".

Trudeau has also forcefully criticized the tariffs, imposed under the pretext of USA national security concerns, and hoped "that at some point. common sense will prevail", he told reporters at a May 31 news conference with Freeland shortly after the US tariffs were announced.

Both leaders also discussed the importance of continued cooperation among G7 leaders on global peace and security issues, such as denuclearisation and North Korea.

While the G7 chiefs have largely praised Trump for his efforts to stabilize the Korean peninsula, they are unhappy he pulled out of an worldwide agreement created 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.

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