President Donald Trump wrapped up a whirlwind trip to Quebec, Canada for the G7 Summit Saturday, reaffirming his “America First” approach to trade in a series of highly-anticipated meetings with world leaders.
Prior to leaving for the gathering, President Trump said Russian president Vladimir Putin, booted from the group for annexing Crimea, should be invited to future summits.
“They should let Russia come back in. We should have Russia at the negotiating table.” Trump said. “Why are we having a meeting without Russia being in the meeting?”
"Why are we having a meeting without Russia? I would recommend, and it is up to them, but Russia should be in the meeting," President Trump says of G7 summit. "They should let Russia come back in because we should have Russia at the negotiating table." https://t.co/gPokHDkAxK pic.twitter.com/7lB7RSNZaf
— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 8, 2018
“It may not be politically correct – we have a world to run,” he added.
In an unscheduled statement, Trump said he wants to put an end to the United States’ status as the world’s “piggy bank” and suggested eliminating trade barriers between allies.
“Ultimately that’s what you want,” Trump remarked. “You want a tariff-free [arrangement]. You want no barriers. And you want no subsidies. Because you have some cases where countries are subsidizing industries, and that’s not fair.”
“If they retaliate, they’re making a tremendous mistake, because you see we have a tremendous trade imbalance,” the President warned. “The numbers are so much against them, we win that war 1000 times out of a 1000.”
“I blame our leaders and I congratulate leaders of other countries for taking advantage of our leaders.”
“It’s going to stop. Or we’ll stop trading with them. And that’s a very profitable answer, if we have to do it.”
One U.S. official told Breitbart News Economics and Finance Editor John Carney that world leaders were mistaken if they believed President Trump would soften his position on tariffs.
“If they thought they were going to lecture Trump on the glories of free trade, they got a rude awakening. He came to a gun fight armed with a stealth bomber.”
President Trump departed the summit early, skipping out on a meeting to discuss climate change.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters on Friday that Deputy Assistant to the President for International Economic Affairs Everett Eissenstat would fill in.
President Trump on Saturday said the United States will not endorse a G7 communique via a tweet accusing Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of making “false statements.”
“Based on Justin’s false statements at his news conference, and the fact that Canada is charging massive Tariffs to our U.S. farmers, workers and companies, I have instructed our U.S. Reps not to endorse the Communique as we look at Tariffs on automobiles flooding the U.S. Market!,” the president tweeted.
Based on Justin’s false statements at his news conference, and the fact that Canada is charging massive Tariffs to our U.S. farmers, workers and companies, I have instructed our U.S. Reps not to endorse the Communique as we look at Tariffs on automobiles flooding the U.S. Market!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 9, 2018
In a second tweet, Trump said, “PM Justin Trudeau of Canada acted so meek and mild during our @G7 meetings only to give a news conference after I left saying that, ‘US Tariffs were kind of insulting’ and he ‘will not be pushed around.’ Very dishonest & weak. Our Tariffs are in response to his of 270% on dairy!
PM Justin Trudeau of Canada acted so meek and mild during our @G7 meetings only to give a news conference after I left saying that, “US Tariffs were kind of insulting” and he “will not be pushed around.” Very dishonest & weak. Our Tariffs are in response to his of 270% on dairy!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 9, 2018
The President’s move to reject the communique followed a statement from Trudeau earlier, in which the prime minister announced, “We have released a joint communique by all seven countries” indicating that the United States had signed on.
President Trump took issue with Trudeau’s remarks on trade between the U.S. and Canada, in which the prime minister warned his government would take retaliatory measures if new tariffs were introduced.
“I highlighted directly to the president that Canadians did not take it lightly, the United States’ move forward with significant tariffs on our steel and aluminum industry,” began Trudeau.
“[I] particularly did not take lightly the fact that it’s based on national security reason that for Canadians who either themselves or whose parents or community members have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with American soldiers in far-off lands, in conflicts from the First World War onwards, that it’s kind of insulting.”
“And I highlighted it was not helping in our renegotiation of NAFTA and that it would be with regret but it would be with absolute certainty and firmness that we move forward with retaliatory measures on 1 July – applying equivalent tariffs to the ones that the Americans have unjustly applied to us,” Trudeau continued.
The 42-year-old concluded his remarks with a warning shot to President Trump: “Canadians are polite, we’re reasonable, but we also will not be pushed around.”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he will with "absolute certainty" impose retaliatory measures on July 1 to answer US President Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminum: "We will not be pushed around" https://t.co/p42wWP6KlK pic.twitter.com/7NGS4xkqzL
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) June 9, 2018
Trump’s tweets about not signing the communique were sent while he was traveling to Singapore ahead of a planned diplomatic meeting with North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un.
The United Press International contributed to this report.