US signs G-7 declaration calling for reduction of tariffs after tense summit with allies
The United States on Saturday signed a G-7 declaration calling for a reduction of tariffs and other barriers to trade, though President Donald Trump continued to lash out at traditionally close allies for allegedly treating unfairly on trade.
"We strive to reduce tariff barriers, non-tariff barriers and subsidies," the G-7 nations said in their joint communique issued at the conclusion of the two-day summit in Canada.
Earlier in the day, Trump had said there should be "tariff free" trade between the G-7 nations, though he did not elaborate on how or whether the US would reduce barriers. Instead, he emphasized the need for other countries to reduce their barriers against the United States, such as Canadian duties on U.S. dairy.
After the conclusion of the summit, Trump again said he would not allow other countries to impose barriers on the United States.
There had been widespread speculation that the G-7 nations would not issue a joint communique that included the United States due to deep differences between Trump administration and close American allies on trade.
The Trump administration imposed aluminum and steel tariffs on the other G-7 members -- the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, France, Canada and Japan -- ratcheting up tensions between the U.S. and its allies in the run-up to the summit.
Tensions threatened to boil over when French President Emmanuel Macron, on the day before the start of summit, said the other 6 countries might sign a joint statement without the U.S.
Though the G-7 managed to reach an agreement basic principles regarding trade, relations between with the United States and the other members, particularly Canada, remained strained.
During a press conference after the summit, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau flatly rejected a proposal by the White House to insert a sunset clause in a re-negotiated North American Free Trade Agreement.
"We will not...sign a trade deal that expires every 5 years -- that is not a trade deal," Trudeau said.
Trump has repeatedly threatened to pull out of NAFTA if the agreement is not renegotiated in way that he views as more favorable for U.S. companies and workers.