President Donald Trump said Saturday at the Group of Seven summit in Quebec, Canada, that the United States would "stop trading" with some of its closest allies unless they change what he believes to be unfair trade policies.
Trump's apparent threat to end USA trade deals with top allies came as he feuded with French President Emmanuel Macron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other leaders over the trade war he instigated late last month.
Kudlow says Trump won't let a Canadian prime minister push him around on the eve of his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Trump set the tone before leaving Washington on Friday.
French President Emmanuel Macron wrote ahead of the meeting on his profile: "The American President may not mind being isolated, but neither do we mind signing a six country agreement if need be".
Trump continued by saying that "we are looking for peace in the world, and not to play games" and emphasized his point, stating "the G8 would be better". We have to change it.
"Russia should be in this meeting", Trump said.
Speaking before departing early from the summit this afternoon, a furious President Trump vowed he would no longer allow the likes of the European Union to treat the United States like a "piggy bank". The EU is also attending.
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France's Macron threatens rare rebuke of USA at summit
Think the United Nations, the World Bank and the Group of 20, which brings together leaders of the world's biggest economies . Trump does not intend to withdraw from NAFTA, National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said on "Fox & Friends".
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The US president had earlier called for Russian Federation - which was suspended from the group in 2014, following Moscow's annexation of Crimea, and chose to leave permanently in 2017 - to be readmitted in the interests of realpolitik.
Trump arrived late for Saturday's meeting during the Group of Seven summit of leading industrialized nations being held in Quebec.
"Russia is focused on other formats, apart from the G7", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a brief statement reported by the government-controlled Sputnik news agency. Both Moscow and Trump have denied the allegations. He also said that the North American Free Trade Agreement could either be renegotiated, split up into separate trade deals, or the USA could pull out entirely.
Just met the new Prime Minister of Italy, @GiuseppeConteIT, a really great guy. "Or we're going to make a deal directly with Canada, directly with Mexico", Trump said Saturday.
Officials have conceded the mood at the summit will likely be exceptionally tense.
President Donald Trump proposed the complete elimination of all barriers to worldwide trade at a Group of Seven summit, a move that turns the tables on allies who accuse the USA of wielding protectionist policies. Some countries have retaliated with their own levies on USA imports.
The prospect that he could be moving towards an even greater protectionist trade policy is likely to chill financial markets anxious about tit-for-tit escalation that could lead to a full-blown global trade war.