If Donald Trump doesn’t care about “being isolated,” then G7 may be better being G6, says Emmanuel Macron. The French president slammed US counterpart for “unproductive” tariffs and preventing other nations from dealing with Iran.
When reporters asked Macron on Thursday if the problem with Trump was that he “didn’t care” about being isolated, Macron struck a hostile tone, reminding the media that no president “is forever.”
“The six countries of the G7 without the United States, are a bigger market taken together than the American market,” Macron said, standing alongside Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “Maybe the American president doesn’t care about being isolated today, but we don’t mind being six, if needs be.”
Macron’s comments come as the leaders of the G7 countries are preparing to meet at a trade summit in Canada, which analysts expect will turn into a showdown on trade deals, given Trump’s repeated insistence that the US has the “worst trade deals ever made.”
The French leader also slammed Trump’s recent decision to impose import tariffs on steel and aluminum from Europe, Canada and Mexico.
“I would like to say Mr. Trump that the measures taken are counterproductive. We can’t engage in a trade war against friends,” he said while branding the US move as “unilateral and illegal.”
“A trade war doesn’t spare anyone. It will start first of all to hurt US workers, and the cost of raw materials will rise, and industries will become less competitive,” Macron warned.
Macron had previously attempted to strike a more conciliatory tone with Trump and was even dubbed the “Trump whisperer” by some in the media. Now, he went on to say there would be no “world hegemony” and that the six other countries, excluding the US, represent “a real force at the international level” today.
The increasingly hostile public tone follows a phone conversation last week between Macron and Trump, which sources told CNN was “really bad” and “terrible.” Asked to comment on those reports, Macron compared the call to “sausage-making” and quoted the 19th-century Prussian statesman Otto von Bismarck, who famously said that “if we explained to people how sausages were made, it’s unlikely they’d keep eating them.”
“So I like it when people see the finished meal, but I’m not convinced the kitchen commentary helps with delivering the meal or eating it,” Macron said.
Despite early hopes, Macron has not had the influence on Trump that some were expecting. He was forced to watch on as the president dropped out of the Paris climate accord and tore up the Iran nuclear deal, which Europe had desperately hoped the US would abide by. Trump’s move to impose tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum from the European Union, Canada and Mexico seems to have been the last straw, however.
Maybe it all started to go downhill during a French state visit to Washington in April, when Trump publicly brushed a “little piece of dandruff” off the French president’s jacket, announcing to reporters in the room that it was just an attempt to “make him perfect.”
Trump should not prevent ‘other people’ from keeping Iran deal
Macron also said today, that the US should not prevent other nations from keeping the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, warning Washington against pushing Iran itself out of the agreement.
“If you are not comfortable with the agreement [on Iran] signed by your predecessor, do not prevent other people from keeping it and do not push Iran out of it. That is the best option we have today,” Macron said during the joint press conference with Trudeau.