Leaders ready to grill Trump
President faces G7 ‘allies’ ahead of Kim summit
Before President Donald Trump sits down with a notorious dictator, he will face what may well turn out to be a tougher crowd — some of the United States’ oldest allies.
With his new tariffs increasing US isolation, Trump heads to Canada tomorrow for a meeting of t he Group of Seven i ndustriali s ed nati ons. The White House is expecting a chilly reception from Canada and West European countries, already frustrated over Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate accord and the Iran nuclear agreement.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel previewed the dynamics yesterday, telling the German Parliament that “it is apparent that we have a serious problem with multilateral agreements here, and so there will be contentious discussions”.
Anticipating a tense two days in Quebec, Trump has complained about having to attend the summit, particularly since it comes just before his high-stakes meeting in Singapore with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, said two people with knowledge of his thinking. But the White House has signalled no change in plans.
“The President wants to go on the trip,” Larry Kudlow, Trump’s top economic adviser, said of the summit in Canada. “There may be disagreements,” Kudlow added. “I regard this as much like a family quarrel.”
Trump also is set to hold a series of one-on-one meetings, including with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and French President Emmanuel Macron.
Trump is unlikely to back away from the nationalistic policies that have frustrated and unnerved allies but which he sees as key promises to his most loyal voters.
Trump announced in March that he was imposing tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum, but he temporarily granted a waiver to US allies such as Canada, Mexico and the European Union, and also to China, as his Administration said trade talks were continuing. Trump ended that relief this month. This will be Trump’s second summit of the G7, an informal gathering that meets every year. The member countries are: Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Germany, the United States and the Britain. The European Union also attends.