Trump delivers warning on trade as he leaves G-7 summit
LA MALBAIE, Quebec (AP) — Exiting a world summit with characteristic bravado, President Donald Trump delivered a stark warning today to America's trading partners not to counter his decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.
Despite his sharp differences with U.S. allies, the president insisted he has a "great relationship" with his foreign counterparts.
"If they retaliate, they're making a mistake," Trump declared before departing the annual Group of Seven summit in Canada for his meeting with North Korea's Kim Jong Un in Singapore on Tuesday.
Trump's abbreviated stay at this Quebec resort saw him continuing the same type of tough talk on trade as when he departed the White House, accusing the summit's host, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, of being "indignant."
The summit came during an ongoing trade dispute with China and served as a precursor to his unprecedented meeting with Kim, in which he has sought to extend a hand to the Asian autocrat who has long bedeviled the international order.
"His message from Quebec to Singapore is that he is going to meld the industrial democracies to his will – and bring back Russia," said Steve Bannon, Trump's former campaign and White House adviser. Bannon said China is "now on notice that Trump will not back down from even allies' complaints in his goal of 'America First.'"
Speaking today during a rare news conference, Trump said he pressed for the G-7 countries to eliminate all tariffs, trade barriers and subsidies in their trading practices. He reiterated his longstanding view the U.S. has been taken advantage of in global trade, adding, "We're like the piggy bank that everybody's robbing, and that ends."
He said U.S. farmers had been harmed by tariffs and other barriers and warned that U.S. trading partners would need to provide him with more favorable terms. "It's going to stop or we'll stop trading with them," he said.
Trump cited progress on reaching an agreement on the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico, saying the final outcome would lead either to an improved trade deal or separate pacts with the two U.S. neighbors.
Trump said he was discussing two types of sunset provisions in which any of the countries could leave the deal. A Canadian official said the leaders discussed accelerating the pace of the talks.