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Trump to depart G-7 summit early

President Donald Trump will depart Canada straight for Singapore, the site of his historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. | Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images


President Donald Trump will leave the G-7 summit before its conclusion, the White House announced on Thursday night, following a day of back-and-forth with fellow world leaders that foreshadowed confrontations during the meeting of the world’s largest advanced economies.

Trump will be depart the summit in Quebec at 10:30 a.m. Saturday and head directly to Singapore, the site of his June 12 meeting with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. The G-7 summit is scheduled to wrap up later on Saturday.

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Before the announcement, President Emmanuel Macron of France and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada both promised to confront Trump over his recent decision to impose tariffs on U.S. allies.

Trump, in response, laid into the two leaders on Thursday evening over those plans.

“Please tell Prime Minister Trudeau and President Macron that they are charging the U.S. massive tariffs and create non-monetary barriers,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “The EU trade surplus with the U.S. is $ 151 Billion, and Canada keeps our farmers and others out. Look forward to seeing them tomorrow.”

By pulling out early, Trump will skip sessions focused on climate change, the oceans and clean energy. He will also miss the traditional group-photo opportunity among fellow heads of state, as well as the closing news conference.

The summit traditionally concludes with a joint statement spelling out the areas of agreement on the wide range of policy issues discussed. But before Trump’s announcement, Macron urged the other five nations to hold strong and not let potential U.S. opposition water down their communiqué.

The 2017 statement, for example was notable for its explicit mention that the U.S. did not share its allies‘ support of the Paris Climate Accord. Less than a week later, Trump announced in the White House Rose Garden that the U.S. would be exiting the climate agreement.

“Maybe the American president doesn’t care about being isolated today, but we don’t mind being six, if needs be,” Macron said, part of his plea to confront Trump head-on.

Trump later upped the ante, accusing Trudeau of being “so indignant” on the topic. The U.S. and its allies have been at loggerheads in recent days as the EU, Canada and Mexico continue to bristle over the president’s decision to levy 10 percent tariffs on aluminum imports and 25 percent tariffs on steel imports from the two countries and Europe. The move, which reportedly came with little warning, has also caused Republicans on Capitol Hill to consider reining in Trump’s trade powers.

Suggesting that the world powers could continue on without the U.S. is a stark departure from the chummy relationship Macron and Trump had during the French president’s state visit to Washington in April.

For his part, Trudeau continued to call the tariffs “ridiculous.” Last week, he repeatedly invoked the fact that Canadians fought alongside U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan in characterizing Trump’s decision as a slap in the face.

The thought of allies ganging up on him has reportedly left Trump uneasy about attending the summit. But for now, Trudeau says that he expects his American counterpart to show up.

“We know that President Trump likes to be unpredictable,” the Canadian leader said on Thursday, “but everything suggests that he will be there for the G7 summit, including his tweets this morning.”

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