Despite the insistence from U.S. President Donald Trump that he was getting along well with leaders at a G7 summit in France, rifts have emerged with his Western allies on issues ranging from his trade war with China to Iran, North Korea and Russia.
Reuters reports that tensions were quickly on show, as the first full day of talks between the leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States got underway in the Basque coast resort of Biarritz in France.
Before leaving Washington, Mr Trump stepped up his tariff war with Beijing and called on U.S. companies to move out of China.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who sat across from Trump on Sunday, reportedly said: “We’re in favor of trade peace on the whole, and dialing it down if we can.”
There were also crucial points of differences as it relates to recent missile launches by North Korea.
Mr Trump, who prizes his relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, told reporters the launches did not violate an agreement and were in line with what others were doing.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, standing beside him, said they breached U.N. resolutions.
There was also disagreement over Mr Trump’s calls for Russia to be readmitted to the group.
Russia was excluded from what used to be the G8 in 2014 after it annexed Ukraine’s Crimea and then backed an anti-Kiev rebellion in eastern Ukraine.
And underlining the multilateral discord even before the summit got underway, Trump threatened the meeting’s host, saying Washington would tax French wine “like they’ve never seen before” unless Paris dropped a digital tax on U.S. technology companies.
Mr Trump up-ended last year’s G7 meeting in Canada, walking out early and disassociating himself from the final communique.