President Donald Trump headed for the Group of Seven (G7) summit in Canada on Friday but will be leaving before Saturday's meeting on climate change, clean energy and oceans. The White House said an aide will take Trump's place, CNN reported.
The announcement of his early departure comes amid a brewing war on tariffs. French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said at a joint press conference on Thursday they intended to challenge Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminum imports at the G7 summit, according to the Associated Press.
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The U.S. refused to sign on to the full Group of Seven environment ministers statement Monday, abstaining from large sections of the final communique on climate change and development banks funding climate initiatives.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt ducked out of a meeting of Group of Seven environment ministers in Italy early on Sunday, leaving after only a few hours to return to Washington, DC.
The Trump administration's decision to pull out of Paris earlier this month created a significant rift between the U.S. and its allies in the G7, and other environment ministers and diplomats were strong in voicing disappointment of and resistance to the U.S. position.
Twenty-two GOP senators sent a letter Thursday urging Donald Trump to pull out of the Paris agreement. They argued remaining in the deal could "upend" the administration's ability "to fulfill its goal of rescinding the Clean Power Plan."