Jiji PressCHARLEVOIX, Canada (Jiji Press) — The leaders of the Group of Seven major industrial countries kicked off a two-day summit in Charlevoix, eastern Canada, on Friday, with U.S. President Donald Trump coming under fire from other participants over trade issues.
On the first day, “many” leaders criticized recently imposed additional U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, Japanese government officials said, noting that “active” discussions were held, including on Section 232 of the 1962 U.S. Trade Expansion Act. Under Section 232, the Trump administration slapped the metals tariffs and is now investigating automotive imports on national security grounds.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe underscored the need to refrain from exchanges of trade restriction measures, which would benefit no country.
He was also quoted as saying that the G-7 countries should send a message expressing their resolve for free and fair markets, and against unfair trade and investment practices.
The trade disagreements between Trump and the other participants could leave them unable to issue a joint statement to wrap up the summit on Saturday, sources said, adding that a chairman’s statement may be released instead.
Another focus of the summit among Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States is diplomacy on North Korea, ahead of the first-ever meeting between a sitting U.S. president and North Korean leader, slated to take place in Singapore on Tuesday.
The G-7 leaders agreed to support the United States for the success of the meeting between Trump and Kim Jong Un, chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea, while affirming the need to resolve the issue of North Korea’s past abductions of Japanese nationals.
During the opening session of the Charlevoix summit, Abe briefed his G-7 counterparts about his Abenomics economic policy featuring bold monetary easing.
The Japanese leader said his country is facilitating economic growth by leveraging global demand, based on win-win relationships with its trade partners under the Trans-Pacific Partnership and other free trade agreements.