Trudeau expects 'difficult' conversations with Trump at G7

US President Donald Trump speaks following a meeting on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington DC

US President Donald Trump speaks following a meeting on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington DC

U.S. President Donald Trump, who is due to attend the leaders' meeting in the Canadian province of Quebec, imposed tariffs last week of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminium from Canada, the European Union and Mexico, citing national security reasons.

Macron's comments come as the leaders of the G7 countries are preparing to meet at a trade summit in Canada, which analysts expect will turn into a showdown on trade deals, given Trump's repeated insistence that the USA has the "worst trade deals ever made".

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has stepped up his criticism of the Trump administration in recent days, taking special offense to the "national security" rationale Washington used to justify steel and aluminum tariffs on its close ally and trading partner.

"I know we're going to have some very, very frank conversations quite clearly around the table", Mr Trudeau told Global TV, adding he would convey Canada's displeasure over the tariffs personally when he meets Mr Trump in Quebec. Larry Kudlow, economic advisor to Trump, said Tuesday the administration wants to replace the agreement entirely, with separate trade deals with both the northern and southern neighbors.

His advisers have said he is trying to use the threat of tariffs as leverage to force other countries to lower barriers in a way that would allow more US imports.

According to CNN, the two world leaders were discussing trade when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asked for an explanation of how tariffs are considered a national security issue.

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"Within the context of the rights that the existing accord gives us, we are answering", Guajardo said.

Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto renewed their commitment to NAFTA last week after the tariffs were imposed. "It will start first of all to hurt US workers".

The U.S. announced tariffs on Canadian and Mexican steel and aluminum after talks stalled on a renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

"A trade war doesn't spare anyone", Macron said.

"That is the best option we have today", Macron said during the joint press conference with Trudeau.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin responded: "We believe in the G-7, it's an important group", adding that Trump looks forward to the gathering.

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In a statement from Elysee Palace ahead of the call, Macron said the tariff decision was "illegal" and "a mistake on many points".

The response comes 24 hours after Mexico confirmed it had launched tariffs on USA steel and was also targeting United States goods such as Bourbon.

Still, Macron is undeterred and affirms his friendship with the famously temperamental United States president.

"And I would just say to all of Canada's American friends - and there are so many - seriously?"

Macron expressed support for Trump in his expected summit with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, but also warned that the United States president's abrogation last month of a 2015 multilateral deal on the Iranian nuclear programme, cast doubt on the credibility of such agreements.

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