Isolated Trump heads to G7 as backlash over trade deepens

Theresa May slams Trump for imposing tariffs on allies

Hours earlier, he criticised the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for "being so indignant" at the imposition of United States tariffs, and railed against French President Emmanuel Macron for his alliance with Trudeau. He engaged him on Twitter.

Behind the scenes at the White House, there have been staff-level discussions for several days about whether Trump may pull the plug on the trip and send Vice President Mike Pence in his stead, as he did for an April summit of Latin American leaders in Peru.

President Trump is heading up to Canada for the G-7 summit on Friday.

And Mr Trump's reported quip in a phone call with Mr Trudeau last month about how Canadian soldiers burned down the White House in 1812 did not go down well either, not least as it was actually the work of the British.

Trudeau has been among the most vocal critics of the steel tariffs, describing the move as lacking common sense, in sharp contrast from the conciliatory tone he had taken since Trump's election. "Look forward to seeing them tomorrow", Trump wrote.

Trudeau is expected to hold one-on-one meetings with all of the attending countries' leaders, the official said, although he did not answer directly when asked by reporters if a communique would be issued at the end of the summit.

However, Trump can tell Trudeau himself on Friday when he joins leader from the U.K., Canada, Japan, Italy, Germany and France at the G7 Summit.

More news: Donald Trump Again Demands Apology From Disney's Bob Iger

The White House tried to play down the differences with Trump's top economic adviser branding the differences as simply a family quarrel.

One source with knowledge of the matter said that Italy wanted to "create as much space as possible to continue the dialogue with the United States", noting that new Italian Prime Minister Guiseppe Conte, a political novice, would be treading carefully in Canada because he "needs to see the dynamics of the group".

"If you're a foreign leader you have to realize if you try to butter up Trump it doesn't really matter, it's a one way street". British Prime Minister Theresa May urged the European Union to stick to World Trade Organization rules and to ensure that any response to the tariffs was proportionate.

Macron threatened to exclude the United States from the joint statement issued every year at the end of the G7 summit, part of an global pushback against Trump efforts to change trade rules.

Such a move towards separate talks would come at a tense time in United States trade relations with the two countries.

Most recently, Trump pulled the US out of the Iran nuclear agreement, following his earlier decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord.

And White House officials are discussing ways to ramp up the penalties on Canada over Ottawas threat to levy tariffs next month on C$16.6 billion ($12.86 billion) in US -made products, the Washington Post reported, citing unnamed officials.

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