Trump Warns Against EU Trade Reprisals After Stormy G7 Summit


President Trump concluded his visit to the Group of Seven summit on Saturdaywith warnings to USA allies, saying if they don't eliminate barriers to trade, they could lose access to the us economy.

As the leaders met, Trump played a wild card, suggesting that rather than both sides boosting retaliatory tariffs - as he has just done on steel and aluminium - they could declare for entirely free trade in the G7 zone.

In May, Trump hit Canada, Mexico and the European Union with steel and aluminum tariffs as part of an effort to create "FAIR TRADE" agreements with America's partners. The president has been at odds with key allies over the new tariffs, which dominated his talks with the leaders of major industrialized nations in the Canadian resort town.

Trump, in a news conference before leaving for Singapore, described private conversations he held over two days with the leaders of Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Canada.

While Mr Trump set a combative tone before even arriving at the summit with a series of tweets about unfair trade deals, he appeared affable and joking at multiple brief photo opportunities and praised Mr Macron for helping to work out trade issues.

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"The United States has been taken advantage of for decades and decades", Trump said.

European leaders also say Russia's return to the G7 can not happen unless substantial progress is made to resolve "problems" in Ukraine, thus rejecting Donald Trump's call to reinstate Russian Federation to the group.

Trump's presidency has been clouded by a federal investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, and possible collusion by his campaign.

A Kremlin spokesperson meanwhile said they were interested in "other formats", apart from the G7. He said he was "going in with a very positive attitude and I think we will come out fine".

Trump is scheduled to address the US news media at 10 a.m. EDT on Saturday. "And that's a very profitable answer, if we have to do it".

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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.

When a reporter asked the president about Crimea he responded: "You have to ask President Obama, he was the one who let Crimea get away".

At this second G-7 gathering of Trumps presidency, the question of whether the USA leader would follow through on campaign boasts about punishing worldwide freeloaders has been largely answered.

The US has slapped a 25% tariff on imports of steel and 10% on aluminium from countries including the United Kingdom and the rest of the European Union. "Much of it, not all of it", Trump said.

"This has been an ongoing project of Ambassador Huntsman, stretching back months, of getting a formal meeting between Putin and Trump", the official told the Journal.

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But details are scant so far, and clear differences are remaining.