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25 August, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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EU leaders round on Trump over trade at G7

AFP, Biarritz, France

EU leaders rounded on US President Donald Trump over his trade threats yesterday at a G7 summit in France overshadowed by trans-Atlantic tensions and worries about the global economy.

After ramping up his high-risk trade war with China on Friday, Trump left for the meeting with his Western partners in surf town Biarritz threatening to impose punishing tariffs on French wine.

"The last thing we need is confrontation with our best ally the United States," EU Council President Donald Tusk said on Saturday, while adding that the bloc would "respond in kind" to any new US tariffs. French host of the G7 summit, President Emmanuel Macron, and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also sounded the alarm about the dangers of Trump's escalating trade war with China.

"I am very concerned. The UK is at risk of being implicated in this. This is not the way to proceed," Johnson told reporters on the plane to the summit.

"I want to see a dialling down of tensions."

G7 summits were once a meeting of like-minded allies -- Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States.  But not since Trump's 2016 election victory.

In an attempt to lighten the mood, Macron deployed the charms of French cuisine diplomacy, treating the US leader to a surprise lunch minutes after he had arrived on Air Force One. Speaking to reporters in fluent English, Macron called Trump "a very special guest" and aides later said that the two men had found some common ground, notably on the Iran nuclear crisis. Trump, sitting across the small table on a terrace of the ornate Hotel du Palais, appeared to be softened by the warm, unscheduled welcome.

"So far so good. The weather is perfect. Everybody's getting along. I think we will accomplish a lot this weekend," Trump said, praising his "special relationship" with Macron.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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