Merkel: Trump's Twitter Withdrawal From G-7 Statement 'Sobering' And 'Depressing'

Seen here is German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Trump surrounded by the leaders of other G7 countries. CREDIT Steffen Seibert  German Federal Press Office

The details of the conversation, which Axios previously reported, come amid fears of a looming trade war over the Trump administration's move to impose steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the European Union, Canada and Mexico. "And they understand it's going to happen", Trump said.

It shows a standing Mrs Merkel, hands firmly planted on a table, staring down at U.S. president Donald Trump, who is seated with his arms folded. She added that with Trump's "unpredictable" leadership and the USA turn toward isolationism, the European Union needs to hone its response to a raft of issues in an environment in which global institutions need to be "newly proven". In the photo, Macron is looking directly at the president and gesturing.

Merkel singled out Macron's hope for a jointly managed investment budget of "one or two percent of gross domestic product" in the single currency area as overambitious.

Trump's "America First" message to allies has hardened since he brought hardline national security adviser John Bolton on to his team.

Asked about Trump's threat to target USA tariffs against cars - a vital industry for Germany which supports over 800,000 jobs - "we will have to think again about what we'll do", Merkel said.

He said USA farmers had been harmed by tariffs and other barriers and warned that USA trading partners would need to provide him with more favorable terms: "It's going to stop or we'll stop trading with them". "We agree that a return by Russian Federation to the G-7 format can not happen as long as there isn't any substantial progress in regard to the problems with Ukraine", said Merkel, CNN reported. Kudlow admitted to CNN on Sunday that Trump had "compromised on the communique" but changed his mind later, seeing Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's appear vindicated after the summit.

"If they retaliate, they're making a mistake", Trump declared before departing the annual Group of Seven summit, which includes Britain, Italy, France, Germany and Japan.

Berlin, Germany―World Trade Organization chief Roberto Azevedo warned Monday against a damaging "escalation" of trade tensions between the United States and other major economies, following a divisive G7 summit. He has directed USA officials "not to endorse" the G-7 joint statement, and personally insulted Trudeau in a series of Twitter posts.

"Canada does have a very big advantage over us".

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