Surrounded by G7 leaders, President Donald Trump, and Trump alone, can be seen sitting – arms crossed.
The scene was captured in a photo during the G7 summit, and the seemingly tense moment did not go unnoticed.
Prior to Trump’s departure for Singapore, international leaders met in Quebec over the weekend for the G7 conference. However, following the summit, Trump tweeted that he was going not going to support the communique, leaving many of the United States’ closest allies aghast.
At the moment the photo was being taken, according to two senior diplomatic sources, there was a difficult conversation taking place regarding the communique and the several issues the US had leading up to it.
A senior diplomatic source with knowledge of the discussions also said the photo captured an argument on the trade section of the communique.
There were two issues of contention between the US and the others, according to the senior diplomatic source. The first issue involved the World Trade Organization. The Trump administration doesn’t like the WTO and didn’t want it mentioned, the source said. Eventually, a compromise was reached for the text, which reads: “We underline the crucial role of a rules-based international trading system.”
The second issue was United States’ insistence on “reciprocal” trade, the source said. The compromise on that issue resulted in language that said “free, fair, and mutually beneficial trade and investment, while creating reciprocal benefits, are key engines for growth and job creation.”
Diplomatic sources tell CNN that once the final language was agreed upon, it was seen as an achievement since the discussions with Trump were “very intense” and “difficult.”
So US allies were much surprised when Trump suddenly began attacking Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for comments at a news conference and rescinded his support of the joint statement by the G7.
According to one senior European diplomat, “The whole thing doesn’t make sense.”
The G7 is made up of seven nations: Canada, France, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan and Italy. The communique is a final agreement among the countries that details various shared priorities.
Trudeau said during a news conference Saturday that Canada will “move forward with retaliatory measures” on July 1 in response to the Trump administration’s decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, the European Union and Mexico.
“I have made it very clear to the President that it is not something we relish doing, but it something that we absolutely will do,” Trudeau said. “Canadians, we’re polite, we’re reasonable, but we also will not be pushed around.”
In response, Trump lashed out on Twitter after the summit, tweeting: “Based on Justin’s false statements at his news conference, and the fact that Canada is charging massive Tariffs to our U.S. farmers, workers and companies, I have instructed our U.S. Reps not to endorse the Communique as we look at Tariffs on automobiles flooding the U.S. Market!”
“PM Justin Trudeau of Canada acted so meek and mild during our @G7 meetings only to give a news conference after I left saying that, ‘US Tariffs were kind of insulting’ and he ‘will not be pushed around.’ Very dishonest & weak. Our Tariffs are in response to his of 270% on dairy!,” Trump wrote in a second tweet.