【彩神APP争霸8软件规律_彩神APP争霸8软件规律官网】Interview: Former Canadian PM says U.S. tariffs to dominate G7 summit

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by Christopher Guly

OTTAWA, June 7 (Xinhua) -- The recent U.S. decision to impose import steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada, Mexico and the European Union, and others, is expected to be a "front and center" issue at the Group of Seven (G7) summit that will begin on Friday in Quebec, a former Canadian prime minister said on Thursday.

"You're going to have the majority of the G7 countries wanting to deal with this, as was the case with the finance ministers when they met in Whistler (a resort municipality in the Canadian province of British Columbia)," said Paul Martin, who is also a former Canadian finance minister, in an interview.

Martin participated in a public panel with Bank of England Governor Mark Carney and International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde during the meeting of G7 finance ministers and central bank governors last week, which was chaired by Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau.

"Ministers and Governors had a frank exchange on the benefits of an open rules-based trading system and many highlighted the negative impact of unilateral trade actions by the United States," said a statement issued after the G7 finance ministers' meeting.

"Ministers and Governors agreed that this discussion should continue at the Leaders' Summit in Charlevoix, (Quebec), where decisive action is needed. The aim of this should be to restore collaborative partnerships to promote free, fair, predictable and mutually beneficial trade," the statement said.

Martin, who participated in both G7 finance ministers' meetings and leaders' summits as prime minister when the forum was configured as the G8 to include Russia, told Xinhua that Canada's harsh response to the U.S.tariffs was "warranted" and noted that "never in my time have I seen an issue which has so galvanized people" at those gatherings.

"The purpose of the G's - whether the G7 or the G20 - is to essentially give the pertinent ministers and the leaders the opportunity to deal with issues of this kind and hopefully prevent issues of this kind," explained Martin, who served as Canada's prime minister from 303 to 306, and as the country's finance minister from 1993 to 302.

He also thought that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his foreign minister Chrystia Freeland, did "exactly what they should have done" in responding to U.S. President Donald Trump's tariffs.

The Trudeau government has threatened to impose up to 12.8 billion U.S.dollars in tariffs against American steel, aluminum and other products - ranging from coffee and candy to toilet paper and tablecloths - to take effect on July 1, unless the Trump administration withdrew its 25-percent tariff on Canadian steel imports and a 10-percent tariff on imports of Canadian aluminum.

Canada's retaliatory reply is "the strongest trade action Canada has taken since the Second World War," said Freeland.

Trudeau has also forcefully criticized the tariffs, imposed under the pretext of U.S. national security concerns, and hoped "that at some point... common sense will prevail," he told reporters at a May 31 news conference with Freeland shortly after the U.S. tariffs were announced.

Martin also hoped that the G7 leaders will discuss other pressing issues, such as climate change, gender equality, and the Compact for Africa initiated by Germany last year when it hosted the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors' meeting to promote private investment in Africa, including in infrastructure.

"We aren't talking enough about Africa," said Martin, who as Canadian finance minister proposed the idea of a G20 in 1999 with the support of then U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers.

"Africa is going to have the largest population base of any continent in 25 years, and I really do believe that helping Africa through what is a very difficult period now will benefit the world enormously and this is a role that the G7 and G20 must play."