G7 leaders defend summit after Trump disowns free trade communique

Photo shared by Angela Merkel hints at tension at G7

This picture from G7 summit 'speaks a thousand words' on global power dynamics

It shows a standing Mrs Merkel, hands firmly planted on a table, staring down at U.S. president Donald Trump, who is seated with his arms folded.

In this photo made available by the German Federal Government, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, center, speaks with US President Donald Trump, seated at right, during the G7 Leaders Summit in La Malbaie, Quebec, Canada, on Saturday, June 9, 2018.

Her comments came amid an escalating fallout from a contentious meeting between Trump and other world leaders at the Group of Seven (G-7) Summit in Canada over the weekend. In the United States version, we see Mr Trump face on, apparently calm, leaning back confidently with a sceptical, nearly sarcastic air, his arms crossed in a rebuff to the other leaders, bent towards him pleadingly.

Earlier today, Mr Trump took to Twitter to launch an angry attack against his key allies saying the USA "paid close to the entire cost of NATO" to help countries that "rip us off on trade".

The German chancellor bemoaned that "Sometimes it seems that the American president thinks that only one side wins and everyone else loses", apparently referring to Trump's barbs directed against Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Trump appeared to acquiesce to Merkel and other leaders' positions, as the G-7 issued a joint statement to uphold "free, fair, and mutually beneficial trade" at the end of the two-day summit.

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.

Image G7 Summit Charlevoix

"You can destroy an incredible amount of trust very quickly in a tweet", he said.

Trump made promoting American interests in worldwide trade his primary goal for the G7 summit, often to the detriment of diplomatic niceties.

Despite Trump's withdrawal and decision to double down on restricting foreign goods entering the USA market, Merkel insisted that she would continue to hold talks and work together with the president.

Germany, Europe's top economy, finds itself in the sights of the U.S. president due to its large trade surplus and defense spending criticized as too low.

Germany's Angela Merkel said Mr Trump's decision to reject a joint communique was "sobering" and "depressing".

The European leader-famed for negotiating compromise without political histrionics-gave an uncharacteristically candid and combative assessment of relations with Trump as she spoke to German channel ARD, after last week's G-7 summit.




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