Trump turns tables on G7 allies with free trade `proclamation'

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US President Donald Trump (Pablo Martinez Monsivais, AP)
US President Donald Trump (Pablo Martinez Monsivais, AP)

US President Donald Trump proposed the complete elimination of all barriers to international trade at a Group of Seven summit, a move that turns the tables on allies who accuse the US of wielding protectionist policies.

“No tariffs, no barriers, that’s the way it should be, and no subsidies,” Trump said during a 30-minute press conference on the sidelines of the meeting in La Malbaie, Quebec. "I did suggest it and people were - I guess they’re going to go back to the drawing board and check it out."

White House Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow, who was invited by Trump to speak from the same podium, described the comments as Trump’s "free trade proclamation.”

The trade spat has dominated the meeting, with Canada and European leaders threatening retaliatory action in response to US tariffs on steel and aluminum. Trump fired back, saying the US had been duped for for years by barriers and that any country that imposed its own measures would regret it.

“If they retaliate, they’re making a mistake,” Trump said.

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