Isolated Trump to face confrontation from America's closest allies

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For the past week, it was an open question in official Ottawa whether Trump would actually show up, given his recent trade actions against the other G7 countries and his increasingly antagonistic comments about their approach to worldwide relations. Trump's claim that USA national security was at stake-that, say, luxury German autos were going to destroy America-was understandably viewed as risible by nations which had backed Washington in war.

"You know, whether you like it or not, and it may not be politically correct, but we have a world to run and the G7, which used to be the G8, they threw Russia out, they can let Russia come back in, because we should have Russia at the negotiating table", Trump told reporters before leaving Washington.

Trump earlier on Friday had suggested that Russian Federation - which was expelled in 2014 from what was called the G8 after it annexed Crimea - should be reinstated into the club.

While he's taken a tougher stance on traditional USA allies, Trump - who remains under investigation as part of an inquiry into potential collusion between his presidential campaign and the Kremlin - has charted a warmer course with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The G-7 began in the 1970s as a way for the most important industrialized democracies to gather together to discuss their common economic interests, with the group including the United States, the Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan.

Conte's statement is one of the earliest clues as to what the new Italian government's foreign policy will be as Conte, who was sworn in one week ago, attends his first global meeting. Trump has been needling Justin Trudeau, the PM of Canada, and Emmanuel Macron, the French president. He spent Friday participating in the rituals of the G-7, including the formal greeting by host Trudeau, a group photo in front of the sparkling St. Lawrence River and a working lunch of Arctic char and buckwheat salad.

Apart from this nascent trade war, Trump has also pulled the USA out of the Iran nuclear deal, threatening foreign companies that still want to do business there. After an early morning Twitter posting that said he was, "Getting ready to go to the G-7 in Canada to fight for our country on Trade (we have the worst trade deals ever made)" he piled on later in the evening with more.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday floated an idea to set up a way to resolve trade disputes between the United States and its allies, a French official said. "That's the key point".

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In the days leading up to the summit, Trudeau and Macron have severely criticized Trump's new tariffs, which critics say threaten to drive up prices for American consumers and companies and heighten uncertainty for businesses and investors around the globe.

Mr Trudeau has described the United States claim that the tariff decision was taken on national security grounds as "insulting".

On Friday, bilateral meetings preceded roundtable discussions.

Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, a frequent critic of the president on foreign policy, also tweeted, "No, Russia should not be added to the G-7". Why are we having a meeting without them?

Also on Thursday, Trudeau said at a news conference that with Macron, "we are going to defend our industries and our workers" and "show the US President that his unacceptable actions are hurting his own citizens".

"The president is not going to leave NAFTA, he's not going to withdraw from NAFTA", Kudlow said. "It's a lucky number".

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