Macron, Trudeau criticise Trump’s trade tariffs before G7 summit

8 June 2018

Macron, Trudeau criticise Trump’s trade tariffs before G7 summit

French President Emmanuel Macron has criticised the recent trade policies of the United States that introduce trade tariffs on steel and aluminium imports and exports, saying that the Group of Seven (G7) can become the Group of Six (G6), a move that would exclude the United States.

“I believe in multilateral cooperation. This allows us to fight hegemony,” he said.

“Perhaps President Trump doesn’t mind that he’s being isolated today, but these six countries have shared values, we represent an economic market that has the strength of history behind it, and also represents true international strength today,” he said at a joint press conference with Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday.

“The six other countries of the G7 — that’s a market that is bigger than the American market,” said Macron.

“So we must look it in the eye,” he said, launching an impassioned defence of multilateralism.

Mr Trudeau expressed at the press conference that the tariffs are, “unacceptable”, “counterproductive”, and “ridiculous”.

He also said that while the seven countries should remain united, the G7 summit will need to include open and honest discussions about the tariffs and other economic policies. “There will be frank and sometimes difficult discussions around the G7 table, particularly with the US President on tariffs,” Trudeau told reporters.

The comments from Mr Macron come just days before the G7 summit is held on Friday and Saturday in La Malbaie, a small town 140 km from Quebec City in Canada.

The summit will bring together the leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United States.

Mr Trump responded to the comments from the two leaders via Twitter on Friday, creating more tension between the leaders before the summit is held.

Mr Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium on allies such as Canada and France are raising fears that it might commence a trade war, a concern that will be at the top of the agenda at the G7 summit.

“The challenge is to try to preserve a form of unity within the G7, but not hesitate to express firmly and strongly the interests of France and of Europe,” Mr Macron’s office said.