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Under fire over tariffs, Trump heads to G-7 summit in Canada

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Mexico imposes tariffs on $3 billion worth of US exports	 	 	 			Getty Images

President Trump on Saturday doubled down on his calls for Russian Federation to be reinstated to the G-7 group of nations, saying that the group would be more meaningful if that country could be brought back into the fold.

Leaving Friday for Canada - his first trip there as president - if he plays his cards right he can manage to only be in that country for less than 24 hours.

Trump planned to leave the summit before it ends on Saturday to head to Singapore for the next meeting on his schedule - a high-stakes summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

To no one's surprise, Trump tweeted his dissatisfaction on Thursday, calling the whole thing "ironic".

He also expressed a belief that there will be a joint statement at the end of the summit amid speculation that leaders would be unable to agree on a common position.

"In other words, let's say Canada, where ... the United States pays tremendous tariffs on dairy as an example - 270% - nobody knows that ... we don't want to pay anything".

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This year, the summit will be Friday and Saturday in Quebec, Canada.

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In a tense phone call with Trudeau on Wednesday over the recent tariffs, Trump reportedly jabbed at Canada by accusing the country of burning down the executive residence in Washington.

"G7 Sherpa and Deputy Assistant to the President for International Economic Affairs Everett Eissenstat will represent the United States for the remaining G7 sessions", White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement. Why are we having a meeting without them? I think better for both countries.

Washington's partners in the G7 have been reeling since the Trump administration last week imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, the European Union and Mexico, prompting retaliation and raising the specter of a global trade war.

The tariffs he imposed last week on Canada, Mexico and the European Union have drawn sharp backlash from allies, whose leaders have described feelings of anger, regret and confusion, reports CNN. The president says at the Group of Seven summit: "If they retaliate, they're making a mistake".

U.S. President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau were all jokes and smiles for the media as they met at the Group of Seven leaders summit in Quebec on Friday, but neither budged on the serious trade dispute between them. "I guess they are going to go back to the drawing board and check it out", Trump said.

He said that he did not blame G7 leaders for the "unfair" trade deals, but previous U.S. presidents.

The summit in Quebec, Canada, saw Mr Trump clash with European leaders over Russia, US tariffs on steel and the Iran nuclear deal before it had even formally begun.

Apart from this nascent trade war, Trump has also pulled the USA out of the Iran nuclear deal, threatening foreign companies that still want to do business there.

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