Trump keeps G7 attendance short at tense summit

"So we need to say, I think, before any such conversations can take place, Russian Federation needs to change its approach". Both Moscow and Trump have denied the allegations.

With unmistakable symbolism, the fractious Western democracies were meeting on the same day that China's President Xi Jinping welcomed his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to Beijing. He also blamed former US President Barack Obama for Russia's move into that nation.

He described the trip as a "mission of peace".

But, he said, the US could no longer tolerate "brutal" deals, even threatening to tear up the North American Free Trade Agreement if he didn't get his way.

Trump will be leaving the summit four hours earlier to travel to Singapore to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Trump said he pushed for the elimination of trade barriers, including subsidies and tariffs, at the G-7 meeting. "That's what I do", Mr. Trump said.

"If you have a strategy, do not explain your strategy before the meeting - because if you are explaining your strategy before the meeting, you are losing your strategy", European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told reporters.

In private conversations with leaders from France, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Japan Friday, Trump countered complaints about USA trade policy with detailed lists of what he described as unfair trade practices and failures to meet security commitments, according to a person briefed on the matter.

Trump has invoked a U.S. national security provision to unilaterally impose tariffs on imports of foreign steel and aluminum, to the outrage of his allies, who have retaliated with a threat of their own, more targeted, sanctions.

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Trump said he was discussing two types of sunset provisions in which any of the countries could leave the deal. "We have a world to run", he said.

Trump did not specify how the US's allies responded to his proposal.

Representatives from other G-7 countries said they felt like they had made progress in conveying their positions to Trump, something many of them felt pressured to do by voters at home.

"The United States has been taken advantage of for decades and decades", Mr. Trump told reporters, adding that did not blame G7 leaders for the "unfair" trade deals.

"Foreign actors seek to undermine our democratic societies and institutions, our electoral processes, our sovereignty and our security", the G7 leaders said in a statement.

The summit host, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, kicked things off without waiting for those he described as "stragglers" to arrive.

Most leaders at the summit have clashed with Trump over new tariffs, which impose a 25 percent tax on imported steel and a 10 percent tax on imported aluminum. He said gender equality must "cut through" everything the G-7 does.

Meanwhile, the European Union - the world's largest trading bloc - announced last week it would impose retaliatory tariffs on the USA beginning in July, over Washington's duties on steel and aluminum imports from Europe.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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