Tariffs, Sunset Clause Are Both NAFTA Dealbreakers, Canada Tells US

Posted June 10, 2018

US President Donald Trump will be leaving early from the summit with the leaders of the G7 countries after an unfruitful debate on trade tariffs.

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets with U.S. President Donald Trump at the G7 leaders summit in La Malbaie, Que., on Friday, June 8, 2018.

In the brief photo opportunity that started their bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the fractious G7 summit, Trump followed Trudeau's diplomatic introduction by joking that Trudeau had backed down on retaliatory tariffs.

He added: "Canadians are polite, we're reasonable but we also will not be pushed around".

French President Emmanuel Macron responded in a "courteous but very firm tone" to present the European side of the story, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe chimed in as well, the official said.

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Trudeau says the U.S., Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Japan figured out "consensus language" they could all agree to.

The tensions surrounding the tariffs underscore what appears to be a growing distance between the US and its allies over Trump's isolationist policies, including his decisions to withdraw from the Paris climate accord in 2017 and the Iran nuclear deal in May.

In an "extraordinary" exchange, Trump repeated a list of grievances about USA trade, mainly with the European Union and Canada, a French presidency official told reporters.

Differences over trade tariff disputes and calls to re-admit Russian Federation have overshadowed a summit attended by leaders from from seven of the world's wealthiest nations in Canada. And we charge nothing, ' Trump said.

Earlier in the day, Trump said he had raised the issue of lifting trade barriers, tariffs and subsides to facilitate global trade at the G7 summit.

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President Trump proposed a major shakeup of the world's economic order during a summit in Canada this week, suggesting the world's big economies drop all tariffs and market-distoring subsidies and go to a fully free system of trade.

Meanwhile, Canadian premier Justin Trudeau has warned that Trump's tariffs "are hurting his own citizens". At one point, German Chancellor Angela Merkel was seen having a brief, intense one-sided conversation with a stony-faced Trump on Friday.

Although Canada and Mexico say the idea is unworkable, Trump told reporters earlier on Saturday that the new deal would contain such a provision.

'I think there are various discussions about alternatives that would not be that, and that would not be entirely destabilizing for a trade deal, and I think we are open to creativity, ' he said. "So we are going in with a really positive spirit".

The American leader said a three-country deal would only be possible with substantial changes, and reiterated his interest instead in forming separate two-way trade accords with Mexico and Canada - an interest Canada has made clear it does not share.

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