Published: 2018-06-10 01:20:02 BdST
"We're like the piggy bank that everybody is robbing," Trump said at a press conference shortly before leaving the gathering of the United States, Canada, Great Britain, France, Italy, Germany and Japan. "It's going to stop now or we'll stop trading with them (other nations)."
German Chancellor Angela Merkel acknowledged differences between the United States and the six other members of the G7 remained, but said a joint statement on trade was expected to be issued at the end of the two-day summit in La Malbaie, Quebec.
"For us, it was important that we have a commitment for a rule-based trade order, that we continue to fight against protectionism and that we want to reform the WTO," Merkel told reporters.
Germany along with other European Union members, Canada and Mexico were stung last week when Trump imposed tariffs on imports of their aluminium and steel to the United States.
Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel listens to US President Donald Trump speak as they meet with France's President Emmanuel Macron and the other leaders during a plenary session at the G7 summit in the Charlevoix city of La Malbaie, Quebec, Canada, June 8, 2018. Reuters
"For us, it was important that we have a commitment for a rule-based trade order, that we continue to fight against protectionism and that we want to reform the WTO," Merkel said.
Trump, who repeated that the tariffs are meant to protect US industry and workers from what he describes as unfair international competition, said he had suggested to the other G7 leaders that all trade barriers, including tariffs and subsidies, be eliminated.
He denied that the summit had been contentious, a remark that contradicted what one G7 official described as an "extraordinary" exchange on Friday.
Trump repeated a list of grievances about US trade, mainly with the EU and Canada, a French presidency official told reporters.
"And so began a long litany of recriminations, somewhat bitter reports that the United States was treated unfairly, that the trading system was totally unfavorable to the United States, the American economy, American workers, the middle class," the official said.
"In short, a long, frank rant which is undoubtedly very unusual in this kind of formats," the official added.
US President Donald Trump listens as he sits beside Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and France's President Emmanuel Macron during a session of the G7 Summit in the Charlevoix city of La Malbaie, Quebec, Canada, June 8, 2018. Reuters
Trump left before the end of the summit on Saturday. He will fly to Singapore to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, which he described as a "mission of peace."
Apart from trade, there also was disagreement over the G7's position on climate change and Trump's suggestion that Russia be re-admitted to the group.
Russia was suspended in 2014 because of its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine. Merkel said on Saturday there must first be progress on a Ukraine peace plan before there is any talk about readmitting Moscow.
Trump's presidency has been clouded by a federal investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, and possible collusion by his campaign. Both Moscow and Trump have denied the allegations.