Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has closed the G7 summit by stating he “won’t be pushed around” by Donald Trump on trade.
At a news conference to close the summit of world leaders in Canada, Mr Trudeau said the people of his country would see the US president’s line on trade as “insulting” after a long history of cooperation between the countries.
Mr Trump earlier warned his counterparts against retaliation after the US imposed tariffs on steel and aluminium from Europe, Mexico and Canada – saying they would be “making a mistake”.
Despite the tensions, the G7 issued a joint statement, which the Canadian leader said featured “consensus language” on several areas.
Addressing Mr Trump’s comments on trade, Mr Trudeau said: “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 aluminium industry.
“[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 (North American Free Trade Agreement) 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.”
He added: “Canadians are polite, we’re reasonable but we also will not be pushed around.”
Mr Trudeau’s comments come after President Trump spoke to reporters as he left the summit early on Saturday to catch a flight to Singapore, where he will meet North Korea’s Kim Jong Un on Tuesday.
He said he suggested to his G7 colleagues that all trade barriers between their countries – including tariffs and subsidies – be eliminated.
“You go tariff-free, you go barrier-free, you go subsidy free,” he said. “I did suggest it and people I guess were going to go back to the drawing board.”
The president said the group was starting to be more committed to “fairer trade” with the United States.
“The United States has been taken advantage of for decades and decades,” he said.
Mr Trump said he did not blame the G7 for trade deals but warned “those days are over”.
The president said the US was prepared to stop trading with some countries if things did not change – citing India as one country that puts tariffs as high as 100% on American goods.
Later, French leader Emmanuel Macron said the joint statement from all seven countries would provide a sign that attempts to “stabilise things” on trade were working.
The summit was dubbed “the G6 plus one” due to the billionaire tycoon’s isolation over trade and his decision to pull the US out of the Iran nuclear deal.
Speaking after Mr Trudeau, Theresa May said there had been some “difficult discussions” and that the debate between leaders had been “open and frank”.
The prime minister said they had reached “agreed language” on trade and on Russia but said the EU would still proceed with implementing retaliatory measures to Mr Trump’s latest tariffs.
She said the UK had expressed its “deep disappointment at the unjustified decision by the US to apply tariffs to EU steel and aluminium imports” at the meeting.