French President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday that no leader was forever, suggesting a more confrontational attitude towards U.S. President Donald Trump as leaders from the Group of Seven countries prepare to clash on trade at a summit in Canada.
Asked by reporters whether the problem with Trump was that he “didn’t care about being isolated”, Macron said.
“You say the U.S. President doesn’t care at all. Maybe, but nobody is forever,” the French leader told a news conference flanked by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “The six countries of the G7 without the United States, are a bigger market taken together than the American market.”
“There will be no world hegemony if we know how to organize ourselves. And we don’t want there to be one,” Macron said.
Late Thursday, Trump tweeted an apparent reply.
Please tell Prime Minister Trudeau and President Macron that they are charging the U.S. massive tariffs and create non-monetary barriers. The EU trade surplus with the U.S. is $151 Billion, and Canada keeps our farmers and others out. Look forward to seeing them tomorrow.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 7, 2018
Macron had so far taken a more conciliatory tone with Trump, whom he calls his “friend”. On Thursday, although he said it was important to remain civil, he signaled his intention to close ranks with other leaders.
“Maybe the American president doesn’t care about being isolated today, but we don’t mind being six, if needs be,” Macron added.
“Because these six represent values, represent an economic market, and more than anything, represent a real force at the international level today,” he said.
Macron said he will huddle with the leaders of Britain, Germany and Italy to forge a common approach on how to handle Donald Trump at the Group of Seven summit in Canada.
Macron will meet with British Prime Minister Theresa May, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and new Italian premier Giuseppe Conte on Friday at 10:30 am (1430 GMT), just before the formal start of the summit in La Malbaie.
European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker and EU president Donald Tusk will also attend, the French leader said.