MAINZ, Germany — German leader Angela Merkel said it was "sobering and a little depressing" to see President Donald Trump withdraw from the G-7 agreement via Twitter after leaving the summit early.
It appeared Trump had agreed a fragile consensus with the other members of the G-7 — or Group of Seven, a club of industrialized nations — by agreeing to sign its official communiqué on a range of issues.
But the president blew that apart with a series of tweets from Air Force One, in which he criticized comments made by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who hosted the gathering in Quebec.
Based on Justin’s false statements at his news conference, and the fact that Canada is charging massive Tariffs to our U.S. farmers, workers and companies, I have instructed our U.S. Reps not to endorse the Communique as we look at Tariffs on automobiles flooding the U.S. Market!
PM Justin Trudeau of Canada acted so meek and mild during our @G7 meetings only to give a news conference after I left saying that, “US Tariffs were kind of insulting” and he “will not be pushed around.” Very dishonest & weak. Our Tariffs are in response to his of 270% on dairy!
It appeared the club had managed to paper over these cracks until Trump sent his tweets. He said he was unhappy at an end-of-summit press conference by Trudeau after he left the summit, in which Trudeau said Canada would retaliate against U.S. trade tariffs.
Merkel was not the only one to criticize Trump's move.
"Anyone who leaves with their backs turned away shows incoherence and inconsistency," a French official said on condition of anonymity. "International cooperation can not depend on anger or small words. Let us be serious and worthy of our people."
Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said her nation "does not conduct its diplomacy through ad hominem attacks," Reuters reported.
Andy Eckardt reported from Mainz, Alexander Smith reported from London, and Nancy Ing reported from Paris.