Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

Trump and Angela Merkel’s Stare-Down

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire walks at the Bercy Finance Ministry in Paris France French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire walks at the Bercy Finance Ministry in Paris Thomson Reuters
Leonard Rios | 13 June, 2018, 06:46

The United States imposed a 25-percent tariff on steel imports and a 10-percent duty on aluminum imports in March but suspended the tariffs on Canada, Mexico, several other states and the European Union in order to attempt to negotiate a better deal.

Her fists planted on the table, she looms above an apparently nervous Mr Trump.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's viral photo staring down President Trump last weekend is just one of many moments captured during the Group of Seven summit - many seem to show conflicting stories.

The US president came under fire at the contentious G7 summit of leading economic powers for his "America First" protectionist drive.

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. French President Emmanuel Macron's eyebrows are furrowed, and his knuckles are digging into the desk; he looks exasperated.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shared his own stare-down directed at Trump.

Putin dismisses G7 criticism as 'babbling,' calls for cooperation
And French President Emmanuel Macron this week threatened to drop the United States from the group's final agreement altogether. In response, the European Union is preparing new tariffs set to hit United States exports ranging from jeans to bourbon whiskey.

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"We must stop this escalation of tensions, the tit-for-tat process is not going to be helpful. new sectors will be brought into the picture, which is something that will harm everyone", he said. "I would say that the G-8 is a more meaningful group than the G-7, absolutely", Trump said.

The bid to gloss over the divide might see the reputation of the G-7 salvaged instead of becoming an unprecedented casualty of us tariffs, disagreements over climate change and the future of the Iran deal. As the summit closed, Trudeau held a televised news conference to discuss the communication, where he was asked about Trump's new tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum.

U.S. President Barack Obama, right, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are seated together at a G7 working dinner in Brussels, Belgium, Wednesday, June 4, 2014.

She further said that the U.S. tariffs were "illegal and unjustified" and Canada did not believe in using "ad hominem attacks".

The low expectations could allow the leaders to cast any consensus as an achievement, especially given that Trump and most of the other G-7 leaders headed into the meeting appearing ready to fight.

Britain's ITV reported that Macron called Trump's Twitter posts "fits of anger and throwaway remarks".

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