U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speaks at a press conference during a meeting for the Governors of the Central Bank and Finance of the G7 in Whistler, BC, on Saturday, June 2, 2018. (Jonathan Hayward / The Canadian Press via AP) (Associated Press)
by Associated Press June 2 at 9:13 PM
WHISTLER, British Columbia – United States was singled out on Saturday by some of its closest allies for the imposition of tariffs that warn will undermine open trade and weaken confidence in the global economy.
The dispute over US President Donald Trump's new levies on imports of steel and aluminum is tearing apart the G7 group of industrialized nations.
After Saturday's conclusion of a three-day G7 meeting Finance ministers, Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau, issued a summary saying that the other six members want Trump to hear his message of "concern and disappointment" "for the commercial actions of the United States.
Allies, including Canada and the United States The European Union threatens retaliatory tariffs.
The G7 ministers urged US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to deliver his message before the leaders of the group's member countries meet next week in Quebec.
The ministers urged the US to abandon tariffs before the summit of leaders before the movement causes deeper divisions within the G7.
"The international community faces significant economic and security problems, which are best addressed through a united front of the G7 countries," said the summary, which was agreed upon by the attending ministers.
"Members continue to make progress on behalf of our citizens, but recognize that this collaboration and cooperation has been threatened by commercial actions against other members," he added.
Bruno Le Maire, France's minister of economy and finance, was outspoken in his badessment of the Whistler meeting, where the ministers confronted Mnuchin.
"It has been tense and hard G7 – I would say that it has been much more a G6 plus one than a G7," said Le Maire, who described the rates as unjustified.
"We regret that our joint joint work at the G7 level has been put at risk by decisions made by the US administration on trade and tariffs," he said.
Mnuchin did not agree with Le Maire.
"I think there was a comment out there that (this was) the G6 plus one … It was not … We believe in the G7, it's an important group," Mnuchin said at his own press conference. "I'm sure the president expects to come to Canada and meet all the other leaders with many, many important issues happening around the world."
Morneau, who chaired the ministerial meeting in Whistler, said that although the group found common ground on many issues, G7 members are now forced to do everything possible to convince Trump to withdraw tariffs.
"They are really destructive, and that is systematically maintained in the six countries that expressed their point of view to Secretary Mnuchin," Morneau told reporters.
The US president said that tariffs are necessary to protect American steel and aluminum industries, vital for national security. ] Morneau called the rates "absurd" and said Canadian metal sales do not pose a security risk to the United States. Warns that the measures will destroy jobs on both sides of the border.
Le Maire said that it is up to the US UU Take steps to rebuild trust among the G7 members and avoid any escalation during the leaders' summit next week.
That meeting, which will be organized by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, will be Trump's first visit to Canada as president.
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