'If We're Unable To Make A Deal, We'll Terminate NAFTA'

Mexico imposes tariffs on $3 billion worth of US exports	 	 	 			Getty Images

Mexico imposes tariffs on $3 billion worth of US exports Getty Images

In a heated phone call on May 25, President Donald Trump reportedly told Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that his administration's new aluminum and steel tariffs on Canada were because Canada had "burned down the White House".

Tensions between the USA and its G7 partners over trade and the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal were rife ahead of the summit which had been dubbed by some as "G6 plus one", referring to an isolated US.

LA MALBAIE, Quebec Exiting a world summit with characteristic bravado, President Donald Trump delivered a stark warning today to America's trading partners not to counter his decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

While Trump's relationship with some of the G7 members has reportedly been tense, one quickly came to his defense. The president also referred to Trudeau's "false statements", which he didn't explain.

Trump was departing the Canadian summit several hours early, heading to Singapore for his summit with North Korea's Kim Jong Un on what he called a "mission of peace".

The announcements come as Mr. Trump seeks to make headway on the deep US trade deficit, saying the country has been taken advantage of for too long, and he is fighting back.

Trump cited progress on reaching an agreement on the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico, saying the final outcome would lead either to an improved trade deal or separate pacts with the two USA neighbours.

Trump, who railed against globalization in his election campaign, said he wanted all G7 nations to remove any tariffs, subsidies and other trade barriers.

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One source with knowledge of the matter said Italy wanted to "create as much space as possible to continue the dialogue with the United States", noting that new Italian Prime Minister Guiseppe Conte, a political novice, would be treading carefully in Canada because he "needs to see the dynamics of the group".

The leaders will join Trump, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister Theresa May, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and new Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte in Quebec for talks on Friday and Saturday.

"Maybe the American president doesn't care about being isolated today, but we don't mind being six, if needs be", Macron told reporters.

But Trump's claims that he is in favor of global free trade would appear contradictory to his recent imposition of tariffs on USA allies, much to their collective discontent.

Trump's counterparts in the G7 had sought this week to try to find some semblance of consensus with Washington on trade and the other key issues that have formed the basis of the 42-year-old grouping of industrialized nations.

The American leader said a three-country deal would only be possible with substantial changes, and reiterated his interest instead in forming separate two-way trade accords with Mexico and Canada - an interest Canada has made clear it does not share. Trump said Friday he thinks the group will produce a joint statement. Mexico slapped a 25% import tariff on USA steel products, as well as 20% on pork products, 25% on bourbon and duties on other agricultural goods including cranberries.

He said: "The United States has been taken advantage of for decades and decades and we can't do that anymore". Canadian officials explained that the United States and Japan did not sign on because they did not want to commit to firm targets to reduce plastics.

Senior figures, including Trump, suggested that some kind of joint statement on the need to jointly re-examine commercial relationships might be found before their summit ends on Saturday.

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