Berlin, Germany―World Trade Organization chief Roberto Azevedo warned Monday against a damaging "escalation" of trade tensions between the United States and other major economies, following a divisive G7 summit.
Earlier in the day, the USA leader tweeted that he had instructed his representatives not to sign the statement, hours after the summit's host, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, announced all countries had supported it.
"I have instructed our US Reps not to endorse the Communique as we look at Tariffs on automobiles flooding the US Market!" The photo showcases the chancellor with her hands placed on the table facing a seated Donald Trump.
Expectations for a breakthrough at the summit, however, are low, with USA allies focused on avoiding rupturing the G7, which in its 42-year history has tended to seek consensus on major issues.
Elisabeth Wehling, a US-based political linguistics researcher, tweeted that the body language clearly pointed to Trump dominating the scene.
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Doctored images showed the U.S. president as a petulant child - including memes with Trump overturning a bowl of noodles on his head or clutching a teddy bear as Merkel sternly looks on.
"The other leaders presented their numbers and Trump presented his".
As befits his role as annual chairman of the G-7, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's picture is taken from the side, impartially showing Mr Trump dealing with his counterparts as equals. She added that with Trump's "unpredictable" leadership and the USA turn toward isolationism, the European Union needs to hone its response to a raft of issues in an environment in which global institutions need to be "newly proven".
British Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday warned both Trump and the European Union of the dangers of entering a tit-for-tat trade war over tariffs, urging both sides to instead focus on China's excess steel production.
"There are still good reasons to continue our fight [aimed at keeping close transatlantic partnership], even though we can not just rely on it anymore", she added. He reiterated his longstanding view that the USA has been taken advantage of in global trade, adding, "We're like the piggy bank that everybody's robbing, and that ends". Merkel said that while she could imagine such a scenario in the future, Moscow would first have to make progress in putting forth a viable peace plan for the country, Reuters reported.