U.S. President Donald Trump told Group of Seven leaders that the United States wanted a quick end to trade practices that he says have led to an exodus of American companies and jobs to other countries.
US trading partners have been furious over Trump's decision last week to impose import tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, the European Union and Mexico as part of his "America First" agenda.
Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called them "totally unacceptable" on May 31, describing them as "an affront to the long-standing security partnership between Canada and the United States, and in particular to the thousands of Canadians who have fought and died alongside American comrades-in-arms".
Trump set the tone before leaving Washington on Friday.
"We need the president to be able to distinguish between our allies and adversaries, and to treat each accordingly", he said in a statement.
"There will be no world hegemony if we know how to organise ourselves". We have to change it.
"The U.S. has been taken advantage of for decades and decades, and we can't do that anymore", Trump said. So far the prime minister has said only that Italy remains a committed member of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and a special ally of the U.S., and that he will push for a review of sanctions against Russian Federation. Both Moscow and Trump have denied the allegations.
Just met the new Prime Minister of Italy, @GiuseppeConteIT, a really great guy.
Donald Tusk, who as president of the European Council is at the summit representing the EU, said the Trump administration and the rest of the group have clear differences on trade, climate change and the Iran nuclear deal.
The Canadian government official said there could be meaningful progress on less controversial issues at the summit such as economic growth, the environment and gender equality.
"We are like the piggy bank that everybody is robbing", he said. "The EU trade surplus with the U.S.is $151 Billion, and Canada keeps our farmers and others out".
Trump called the summit a "one time shot" for Kim, but expressed optimism at the beginning of talks with the North Korean regime.
Officials have conceded the mood at the summit will likely be exceptionally tense.
"Please tell Prime Minister Trudeau and President Macron that they are charging the USA massive tariffs and create non-monetary barriers", Trump said Thursday on Twitter.
At issue are USA tariffs against Canada and Trudeau's effort to retaliate against its neighbor - as well as Trudeau's comment to reporters that all seven leaders had come together to sign a joint declaration after the G-7 meeting.