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G7 allies confront Trump with trade numbers in tense G7 summit

13 June 2018

German Chancellor Angela Merkel called the decision by President Donald Trump and the United States delegation to abstain from the G7 summit's statement "sobering and somewhat depressing".

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, center, speaks with President Donald Trump, seated at right, during the G7 Leaders Summit in La Malbaie, Quebec, Canada, on Saturday, June 9, 2018.

U.S. President Donald Trump countered a slew of trade numbers from U.S. allies with his own, different data, holding firm to his position that the United States was at a disadvantage, an official at a G7 summit said on Friday as consensus eluded the group's leaders.

Later on Saturday, after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said all seven nations had signed a joint communique at the end of the summit, Trump angrily lashed out on Twitter, stating the USA would not endorse the statement.

Many saw a distillation of a crisis of the West in the photograph, and a revival of the debate launched by U.S. and British media after Trump's 2016 election whether Merkel was the new "leader of the free world". The U.S. president is staring back, arms crossed, as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe looks on with his arms also crossed.

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"We discussed all outstanding issues and made substantial progress, exchanging papers and talking throughout the night", a French official said.

Others, however, insisted that Trump looks like he's in control of the situation in the photo.

The flags of Germany, France and the European Union are seen in front of the the Chancellery, before the meeting between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron in Berlin, Germany May 15, 2017.

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

In comments to reporters from her home country, Merkel offered what may be her strongest direct criticism of Trump so far as the relationship between the two leaders continues to fray.

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Just like Canada, the European Union is preparing counter-measures against us tariffs on steel and aluminium imports, Merkel said.

The EU has already said it will announce countermeasures against Trump's metals tariffs on July 1.

"We're going to deal with the unfair trade practices".

Merkel said she expected Italy's new coalition government to vote for the extension of European sanctions against Russian Federation.

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G7 allies confront Trump with trade numbers in tense G7 summit