THE G7 Summit in Canada is being dominated by Donald Trump’s pending trade war as Theresa May meets with EU leaders for an unprecedented meeting to discuss how they plan to retaliate against the US President’s raft of tariffs.

G7 leaders from the group of the seven richest nations are holding a dramatic showdown with the firebrand Republican president as they pressure him to lift levies on steel and aluminium.

Theresa May is joining forces with EU member leaders, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanul Macron and new Italian PM Giuseppe Conte in a meeting to discuss how they plan to tackle the threat from Mr Trump before the summit gets started.

Mrs May looks set to play a diplomatic go-between role as she tries to keep tensions from simmering over.

Last night she called from restraint from the European Union, which is set to unveil its own list of tariffs on US exports in retaliation. But on Friday morning, the PM was reportedly denied a bilateral-meeting with the US leader. Number 10 refused to say if the PM had requested a meeting.

Asked if Mrs May believed she had been snubbed, a spokeswoman replied: “No. She will be working alongside him today in many of the working sessions and she obviously spoke to him earlier this week, and will be seeing him for his visit next month.

“So, she has had lots of opportunity to talk to him. They have a good working relationship. She speaks to him regularly and she’s looking forward to seeing him next month.”

The confrontation threatens to rupture a body that during its 43-year history has traditionally sought to find consensus on the economy and other issues.

And on Friday German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier called for Europe to remain unified in the face of rising trade tensions with the US, saying it was unclear how a summit of the Group of Seven rich nations would end.

He told broadcaster ZDF: “We have a serious situation, not just since last night or this morning, but rather the entire last few weeks.”

Mr Altmaier also underlined the importance of European unity on free trade and economic interests, especially since domestic debate was continuing in the US about punitive sanctions imposed by Mr Trump on G7 allies.

Follow our live coverage below. 

G7 summit

G7 summit live: World leaders are set to showdown with Trump over his trade war

4.10pm: Trump proposal ‘incoherent’

A French presidential source has also hit out at Mr Trump’s Russia proposal.

They said: “As a reminder, the latest country to have imposed individual economic sanctions is the United States, so this proposal doesn’t seem coherent.

President Emmanuel Macron’s aim is to present a united European front at the G7, the source said, adding that he aimed to get references to international trade rules, WTO reform, the Paris climate agreement in the final statement, as well as to reach consensus on Iran and Libya.

3.52pm: Tusk admits USA ‘worries’

Donald Tusk has admitted Mr Trump and his US administration are worrying him before admitting ultimately the EU can do nothing to “change the US’ mind”.

He said: “Our discussions here is Charlevoix will be far from easy.

“It is evident that the American president and the rest of the group continue to disagree on trade, climate change and the Iran nuclear deal.

“What worries me most is that the rules-based international order is being challenged.

“Quite surprisingly not by the usual suspects, but by its main architect and guarantor – the United States. Naturally we cannot force the U.S. to change its mind.”

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Donald Trump arriving at Canadian Forces Base Bagotville in Canada for the G7 Summit

3.40pm: Trump’s Russia proposal panned

A UK source has said Mr Trump’s attempts to reintroduce Russia to the G7 – recreating the G8 – cannot begin until the Kremlin changes its ways.

The source said: “We should remind ourselves why the G8 became the G7 – it was after Russia illegally annexed Crimea.

“Since then we have seen malign activity from Russia in a whole variety of ways, including on the streets of Salisbury in the UK.”

3.13pm: ‘Europe united!’

Jean-Claude Juncker has issued a verbal broadside at Donald Trump, hitting back at the US president’s ‘America first’ policy.

Speaking at a press conference with Donald Tusk, Mr Juncker said: “Not only America first, but also Europe united!”

Next up is Emmanuel Macron, who is expected to speak at 3.45pm. Will he also hit out at the US president?

More live updates to follow to follow… 

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G7 summit live updates: Donald Trump leaves for Canada

But on Friday morning, the PM was reporteldy denied a bilateral-meeting with the US leader. 

Number 10 refused to say if the PM had requested a meeting. 

Asked if Mrs May believed she had been snubbed, a spokeswoman replied: “No. She will be working alongside him today in many of the working sessions and she obviously spoke to him earlier this week, and will be seeing him for his visit next month.

“So, she has had lots of opportunity to talk to him.”

“They have a good working relationship. She speaks to him regularly and she’s looking forward to seeing him next month.”

Riot police have been pictured in the streets surrounding Quebec as campaigners gather pace in protest against the two-day summit. 

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French president Emmanuel Macron and UK Prime Minister Theresa May at the G7 summit

The confrontation threatens to rupture a body that during its 43-year history has traditionally sought to find consensus on the economy and other issues.

And on Friday German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier called for Europe to remain unified in the face of rising trade tensions with the US, saying it was unclear how a summit of the Group of Seven rich nations would end.

He told broadcaster ZDF: “We have a serious situation, not just since last night or this morning, but rather the entire last few weeks.” 

Mr Altmaier also underlined the importance of European unity on free trade and economic interests, especially since domestic debate was continuing in the US about punitive sanctions imposed by Mr Trump on G7 allies.  

G7 summit

G7 Summit: Justin Trudeau meets EU bosses before the two-day summit

Mr Trump today resumed his tirade against Canada and “unfair trade deals” with G7 countries early.

He tweeted early Friday morning before he was to leave Washington for Quebec saying: “Looking forward to straightening out unfair Trade Deals with the G-7 countries. If it doesn’t happen, we come out even better!” 

It comes just a day after President Trump launched an attack on host leader Canadian PM Justin Trudeau on Thursday night, describing him as “indignant”, with officials predicting the mood is likely to be exceptionally tense.

A Canadian official said: “There will be some serious disagreements on a lot of things.”

Mr Trump also said Russia should be attending a Group of Seven nations meeting, as he prepared to fly to Canada to attend part of the three-day conference. 

But Russia responded with Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov saying: “Russia is focused on other formats, apart from the G7,” accprding to Sputnik. 

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G7 Summit live updates: Riot police are on the streets as campaigners protest against the Summit

Although Mr Trump insists the tariffs are necessary to protect US industry, Canada and EU chiefs have denounced them as illegal.

Mr Trump’s decision to impose 25 percent levy on all imports of steel and 10 percent on aluminium imports from the EU, Canada and Mexico sparked fears of an all-out trade war.

French President Emmanuel Macron called for leaders to be civil at the summit on Thursday.

But he is clearly losing patience with the US President, suggesting the other six members of the G7 could form their own grouping if necessary.

While Prime Minister Theresa May British Prime Minister Theresa May took a more measured tone, as she called for any response to be proportionate and legal.

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G7 Summit: Macron is losing patience with Donald Trump

But Mr Trump showed no sign of backing down on Thursday, first taking to Twitter to accuse both France and Canada of imposing massive tariffs on US goods and then accusing Trudeau of “being so indignant.”

Canadian bosses hit back saying that “the prime minister and the president have very frank, direct, candid, honest conversations”.

The official said Mr Trudeau and Mr Trump are due to meet on Friday “and they will have lots to talk about”.

The White House subsequently announced the president would be leaving the two-day summit four hours earlier on Saturday to fly to Singapore for a meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. 

By departing early, the US leader will miss talks about climate change and clean energy, and be out of the country by the time Mr Trudeau and other leaders begin closing news conferences likely to be laden with criticism of US trade policy.

Additional reporting by Rebecca Perring. 

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