Donald Trump leaves G7 meeting early claiming US are 'piggy bank that everyone is robbing'
US president Donald Trump has defended his actions to address trade imbalances and repeated his call for Russia to rejoin the G7.
Leaving the gathering in Canada early, Mr Trump defended his tough talk on trade, telling reporters: "We are like the piggy bank that everyone is robbing."
Trump, who angered his G7 partners last week with tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, the European Union and Mexico as part of his "America First" agenda, vowed to hold firm until U.S. goods had "fair" access to markets.
"The United States has been taken advantage of for decades and decades," Trump said at a press conference on the second day of a two-day summit in Canada.
He said he had suggested to the other G7 leaders that all trade barriers, including tariffs and subsidies, be eliminated.
"You go tariff-free, you go barrier-free, you go subsidy free," he said. "I did suggest it and people I guess were going to go back to the drawing board."
Trump denied that the summit had been contentious, a remark that contradicted what one G7 official described as a bitter harangue on Friday between the U.S. president and his counterparts over tariffs.
In an "extraordinary" exchange, Trump repeated a list of grievances about U.S. trade, mainly with the EU and Canada, a French presidency official told reporters.
"And so began a long litany of recriminations, somewhat bitter reports that the United States was treated unfairly, that the trading system was totally unfavorable to the United States, the American economy, American workers, the middle class," the official said.
"In short, a long, frank rant which is undoubtedly very unusual in this kind of formats," the official added.
He added that he would like to see the group expanded back to the G8, with Russia re-admitted - something opposed by UK Prime Minister Theresa May.
"I think it would be an asset to have Russia back in," Mr Trump said.
Mr Trump also described an upcoming meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore as a "mission of peace."
"This is unknown territory in the truest sense. But I feel really confident," Trump told reporters. "It's never been done, It's never been tested. So we are going in with a really positive spirit."
More to follow...