President Trump Barrels into Tense G-7 Summit

G7 Summit in Taormina

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Saturday rejected a US demand for a sunset clause in NAFTA but said he was prepared to compromise on the issue, which is holding up talks to update the 1990s-era pact. Eventually, Trump left earlier than expected and went to Singapore to meet with Kim Jong-un.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau were all jokes and smiles for the media as they met at the Group of Seven leaders summit in Quebec on Friday, but neither budged on the serious trade dispute between them.

Trump had told Trudeau any retaliation would be a mistake and the prime minister agreed that it was "not something we want to do".

When a CNN reporter asked Trump about anger and frustration from USA allies over trade, he lambasted the reporter and his "fake friends at CNN".

Leaders of the G7 nations on Saturday papered over the cracks in their alliance at a summit in Canada but came away with little more than an agreement to disagree on trade, as Trump defiantly brandished his "America First" agenda. Why are we having a meeting without them?

The Trudeau government has told President Donald Trump he needs to get rid of the punishing US tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum if there is any hope of successfully renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Trump's tariffs initially went into effect in March, aimed specifically at China, but the White House announced in May that the three allies would no longer be exempt from the taxes. Russian Federation was expelled from the group - which now includes France, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the USA - following its annexation of Crimea in 2014.

That comment has Trump squarely offside with this fellow G7 leaders, including Canada, who view Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula and its meddling in western elections as a major global security concern.

Trump said he didn't blame the G7 leaders for "unfair" trade deals but rather their predecessors.

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Trump's strained relationship with the rest of the G7 was evident on Saturday when he arrived late for the opening session, with Trudeau addressing a gathering that included an empty chair where the president was meant to be.

"We're like the piggy bank that everybody's robbing, and that ends", Trump said in a press conference Saturday.

The government announced it would impose more than $16.6-billion in retaliatory tariffs, effective July 1, on a variety of US goods.

He said: "I have been Russia's worst nightmare".

Trudeau on Saturday rejected a US demand for a sunset clause in NAFTA but said he was prepared to compromise on the issue, which is holding up talks to update the 1990s-era pact. The United States pays enormous tariffs on dairy.

Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, a frequent critic of the president on foreign policy, also tweeted, "No, Russia should not be added to the G-7".

Trump said he pushed for the elimination of trade barriers, including subsidies and tariffs, at the G-7 meeting.

Friday morning he was spitting again: "Canada charges the US a 270% tariff on Dairy Products!"

He said he could tell from the smiles of European leaders at the G7 that they knew that "the gig is up" and that they would negotiate terms with Washington.

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