President Donald Trump will cut short his time at the G7 summit in Canada, which begins Friday, amid a public feud with several leaders on trade and climate change.
The U.S. president will leave the summit Saturday morning, the White House said, just before meetings begin on climate change, energy policy and oceans. Trump will then head to Singapore ahead of his highly-anticipated meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Deputy Assistant to the President for International Economic Affairs Everett Eissenstat, will represent the United States for the G7 sessions that Trump will skip Saturday.
Trump tweeted Friday he’s “looking forward to straightening out unfair trade deals with G7 countries” at the summit, saying the United States would “come out even better” if the deals were not improved.
French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have presented a united front against what they say are protectionist trade measures by Trump — particularly his decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union.
Other G7 leaders, including British Prime Minister Theresa May and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, have also spoken out against the U.S. tariffs.
Thursday, Trump took aim at Trudeau and Macron, accusing them of benefiting from one-sided trade arrangements with the United States.
“Prime Minister Trudeau is being so indignant, bringing up the relationship that the U.S. and Canada had over the many years and all sorts of other things…but he doesn’t bring up the fact that they charge us up to 300 percent on dairy — hurting our Farmers, killing our Agriculture!” Trump tweeted.
In another tweet, Trump said he’s “looking forward to seeing” Macron and Trudeau and accused them of “charging the U.S. massive tariffs and create non-monetary barriers.”
Earlier on Twitter, Macron said six of the seven G7 countries “do not mind” signing an agreement if need be — essentially isolating the United States.
“The American President may not mind being isolated, but neither do we mind signing a 6 country agreement if need be,” Macron said. “Because these 6 countries represent values, they represent an economic market which has the weight of history behind it and which is now a true international force.”
Canada hosts this year’s G7 in La Malbaie, Quebec. France will host next year and the United States in 2020.
Larry Kudlow, Trump’s top economic adviser, called the spat a “family quarrel” Thursday.
“There are disagreements,” Kudlow said. “He’s sticking to his guns, and he’s going to talk to them.”
Trump will meet with Macron and Trudeau face-to-face on Friday.
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