Picture of Trump, G7 leaders goes viral

Picture of Trump, G7 leaders goes viral

Europe will implement counter-measures against USA tariffs on steel and aluminium, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Sunday, voicing regret about President Donald Trump's abrupt decision to withdraw support for a Group of Seven communique.

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. As expected he did not budge. "We stand by it and whoever leaves it and turns their back on it is showing inconsistency and lack of character".

Like Canada, the European Union is preparing counter-measures against USA tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, in line with World Trade Organisation rules, Merkel said.

The official described Merkel's suggestion as a "shared assessment and dialogue" mechanism, but gave no further details.

After leaving the summit Saturday, Trump announced that the USA was pulling back its endorsement of the G7 communique in part because of what he called "false statements" at a news conference by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Trump focused his conversation with Macron on German trade for about 15 minutes in the one-hour meeting.

"It's highly unlikely there will be a final communique", a G7 official said on condition of anonymity. The EU is also attending the summit. Shinzo Abe of Japan looks on with a world-weary expression.

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Trump set the tone before leaving Washington on Friday.

Trump, who is in Singapore for negotiations with North Korea, continued to rip into U.S. trading partners late Sunday night Eastern Time, repeating complaints about the United States trade deficit and contributions to NATO. "According to a Canada release, they make nearly 100 Billion Dollars in Trade with US (guess they were bragging and got caught!)".

In an interview with ABC, Trump said the image was "such an innocent picture". But differences remain on how to balance French President Emmanuel Macron's call for more solidarity in Europe. The leaders had exchanged terse messages on Twitter ahead of the summit.

As well as Merkel glancing at Trump when he arrived late to the summit's gender equality breakfast.

"I asked for changes. Ask this great lady". Trump himself looks like a comically petulant child, and John Bolton, the National Security Advisor, appears to be nervous, staunchly standing by the president.

"I left, everybody was happy, everybody shook", Trump said.

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