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Trump to skip G7 climate sessions following spat with Macron, Trudeau

08 June 2018

"The American President may not mind being isolated, but neither do we mind signing a six country agreement if need be", Macron tweeted in English, turning to the medium Trump has made his own.

The remarks are likely to create more cross-border economic uncertainty with the USA after Trump imposed stinging steel and aluminum tariffs on imports from Canada, Mexico and Europe.

The topic led off debate Tuesday in the House of Commons, where Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer criticized the Liberals for announcing retaliatory tariffs that don't take effect until July 1 -a full month behind the USA measures.

"We have on various occasions heard the president speak about his interest or his musings about bilateral deals, instead of the trilateral NAFTA that we have", Trudeau said.

Mexico published a long list on Tuesday of US products it would subject to tariffs, including the pork cuts.

A net importer of USA steel, Mexico is also putting 25 percent duties on a range of American steel products.

The measures were a response to USA tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Mexico, Canada and the European Union.

The globalised economy they helped build had both winners and losers but, until Trump's election, the United States was seen as the system's uncontested leader and a major beneficiary.

"Canada's position is and always has been that the trilateral approach is actually better for Canada, Mexico and the United States".

California farmers, he said, face a host of pressures and "trade has been the bright spot", noting that in 2016, the state exported almost half of what it produced in farm-gate value. Bob Corker, the official said.

And France's President Emmanuel Macron, who met Trudeau in Ottawa before they headed on to the summit, said he would rally support from his British, German and Italian counterparts before they all sit down with Trump.

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Mexico announced its response to Trump's move last week but it did not provide details of tariff levels or a full list of products at the time. However, the Mexican economy relies more on trade than does the US economy, with about 80 percent of its exports sold to America.

Mr Macron said: "A trade war doesn't spare anyone".

"There are disagreements", top White House economics advisor Larry Kudlow acknowledged.

Mexico is the largest market for USA pork exporters.

Washington and Beijing have threatened tit-for-tat tariffs on goods worth up to $150 billion each, as Trump has pushed Beijing to open its economy further and address the United States' large trade deficit with China.

Mexico and Canada were hit with 25% USA tariffs on steel and similar 10% tariffs on aluminum on June 1. Canada and the European Union have denounced them as illegal and are preparing retaliatory measures.

Trump has since mused about replacing NAFTA with bilateral trade deals with Canada and Mexico - an idea Trudeau shot down on Wednesday. Although the Trump administration action aids the US metal sector, the tariffs have prompted trade retaliation that hits other USA business areas, including some that are part of Trump's political base.

Canada's Trade Minister Francois Philippe Champagne was blunter, declaring: "What we are seeing is that the world economic order is under pressure, under attack".

"He's looking at the best way to make sure he gets the best deal possible for American workers and whether or not that's through NAFTA or other means, those options are on the table", Sanders told a news briefing. "We think that demonstrating the strength of NAFTA as a solid community as we take on the world is very much in all three of our advantages, and we're going to continue to negotiate that way".

Europe does not come to Quebec from a position of strength.

Trump to skip G7 climate sessions following spat with Macron, Trudeau