Just hours before he was to meet with the leaders of several major US allies at the G-7 summit of leading industrial nations in Quebec, President Donald Trump on Thursday night threatened to escalate a global trade war against many of them.
According to reports, Trump is reluctant to attend the meeting at all because of the frosty reception he is expected to get and would rather focus on Tuesday’s planned summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
The president tweeted on Thursday night:
“Why isn’t the European Union and Canada informing the public that for years they have used massive Trade Tariffs and non-monetary Trade Barriers against the U.S.
“Totally unfair to our farmers, workers & companies.
“Take down your tariffs & barriers or we will more than match you!”
Hours earlier, he criticized Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, whom he said was “being so indignant” at the imposition of recent US tariffs, and railed against French President Emmanuel Macron for his alliance with Trudeau.
In a follow-up message he highlighted a Canadian 270% tariff on US dairy as “not fair to our farmers.”
He added that he would use the meeting as an opportunity to start “straightening out unfair trade deals.”
The tweets came as the EU and Canada announced retaliatory tariffs to match the levies on steel and aluminum that were imposed by the US last week.
Trump is nevertheless set to visit Quebec this weekend for the meeting with the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the UK, Japan, and the EU, which attends the G-7 as its own entity.
According to The Washington Post, Trump complained about having to attend the summit, which he reportedly considered an unwanted distraction from his planned Tuesday summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore. He also apparently was not looking forward to being confronted by other G-7 leaders on trade.
Unnamed advisers told the paper Trump also complained about his awkward relationships with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Theresa May.
Trump is planning on cutting his trip to Quebec short to go to Singapore for his meeting with Kim.
SOURCE: Alexandra Ma