Trump, G-7 peers seek deals on terrorism, trade, climate

On climate change, Trump's position and how, if at all, he has evolved won't truly be known until he acts on the Paris climate accord. Italy has urged G-7 members to make growth benefit more people and to reduce inequality through more skills training and better tax policies.

Trump, in particular, is likely to face peer pressure over his protectionist and climate-sceptic stance, which has put him at odds with some of the other leaders.

Officials expect tough talks at the G7 summit in Sicily on Friday and Saturday between US President Donald Trump and other leaders of the world's wealthiest nations on a raft of issues from climate and trade to security, migration, North Korea and Russian Federation.

Since taking office, U.S. President Donald Trump, has derided some of the same global partnerships, including the World Trade Organisation, raising the prospect that the Republican's "America First" agenda might well mean an America more willing to act alone.

He first went to Saudi Arabia's capital Riyadh, then to Jerusalem, visiting both Israel and then the Palestinian territory in the West Bank, and then met with Pope Francis in the Vatican.

According to German media reports, he also condemned Germany for "very bad" trade policies in meetings with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Council President Donald Tusk, signaling that he would take steps to limit the sales of German cars in the United States.

The clashes dominated conversations in and around the summit after the first day wrapped up Friday, with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, British Prime Minister Theresa May and German Chancellor Angela Merkel all singling out, with varying degrees of intensity, the US for getting in the way. They are also expected to tackle climate change which the president has called a "hoax".

Another top issue on the G-7 agenda in Sicily is climate change. Trump listened to the arguments attentively, the source said. He has criticized countries such as China and Germany who run large surpluses with the United States, selling more to US consumers than they buy from USA companies.

Mrs May told him that the United Kingdom and the 27 European Union member states should be discussing their future relationship at the same time as discussing the terms of the UK's withdrawal, a Downing Street spokesman said.

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But UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who is also in Sicily for the meeting, told the BBC the accord would survive regardless of Mr Trump's position.

"He did say the environment is very, very important", Cohn said.

Trump's economic advisor Gary Cohn said Friday that USA compliance with its Paris commitments would be "crippling" to economic growth, but added that the president was "interested to hear what the G7 leaders have to say about climate".

"He feels much more knowledgeable on the topic today", Cohn said. And he came here to learn, and he came here to get smarter.

But Gentolini and other world leaders weren't just waiting for internal reflection. Trump has publicly blasted the agreement in the past.

Their two-day summit began Friday in the Italian city of Taormina.

But his language also summarizes the "America First" platform that elevated the property tycoon to victory in last year's presidential election.

But, speaking in Berlin, Streiter said Germany's current account surplus - the broadest measure of trade and investment flows - reflects economic factors that the German government can't directly do anything about.

But other leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and new French President Emmanuel Macron, had hoped to sway the president at his first major global summit since entering the White House four months ago.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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