Newspaper article The Canadian Press

G7 Allies Prepare for Clash over Tariffs with Trump at Leaders' Summit

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

G7 Allies Prepare for Clash over Tariffs with Trump at Leaders' Summit

Article excerpt

G7 leaders, Trump to clash over tariffs

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WHISTLER, B.C. - Group of Seven nations moved closer to a trade war with the United States on Saturday, as six members of the exclusive club singled out their American partner over tariffs they warn have undermined open trade and shaken confidence in the global economy.

The group's highly unusual public rebuke of one of its own members called out the U.S. for hefty steel and aluminum tariffs the Trump administration imposed in recent days on its G7 friends.

U.S. President Donald Trump's tariffs are driving a wedge in the G7 -- and laying the groundwork for a potential clash among its leaders next week in Quebec's Charlevoix region.

Allies including Canada and the European Union are threatening retaliatory tariffs in hope of forcing Trump to back down from his position.

G7 finance ministers and central bankers crafted a message to Washington Saturday at the end of a three-day meeting in Whistler, B.C. The gathering, meant to explore economic issues ahead of the leaders' summit, featured discussions on trade that one minister described as "tense and tough."

In the joint "chair's summary," they asked their counterpart, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, to "communicate their unanimous concern and disappointment" to his boss.

Ministers urged the U.S. to quickly abandon the tariffs ahead of the leaders' summit before the move causes deeper divisions within the G7.

"The international community is faced with significant economic and security issues, which are best addressed through a united front from G7 countries," said the summary, was agreed to by the ministers.

"Members continue to make progress on behalf of our citizens, but recognize that this collaboration and co-operation has been put at risk by trade actions against other members."

Finance Minister Bill Morneau, who chaired the Whistler meetings, said even though the group found common ground on many subjects, G7 members are now forced to do whatever they can to convince Trump to move back from the tariffs. …

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