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G7 makes 'substantial progress' on trade talks: French source
May 27, 2017 / 9:07 AM / 7 months ago

G7 makes 'substantial progress' on trade talks: French source

TAORMINA, Italy (Reuters) - The Group of Seven nations have made progress in negotiations on trade, notably on the issue of multilateralism, a French presidential source said on Saturday, suggesting there has been some softening in the United States’ protectionist stance.

From L-R, European Council President Donald Tusk, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, U.S. President Donald Trump, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, French President Emmanuel Macron, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker pose for a family photo during the G7 Summit in Taormina, Sicily, Italy, May 26, 2017. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

The leaders have been wrangling on the wording of a final communique since Friday with international trade and climate change the main stumbling blocks.

“The discussions on trade are making substantial progress, notably on the issue of multilateralism,” a French presidential source said.

Since taking office, U.S. President Donald Trump, has derided some of the same international 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.

A senior White House official on Friday said Trump had told the leaders of Germany, France, Italy, Japan, Canada and Britain that the United States would treat other countries in the same way it was treated.

Reporting by John Irish; Editing by Crispian Balmer

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