The United States and European Union will establish a dialogue on trade within the next two weeks, a French official said on Friday, signaling a modest step forward for bitterly divided allies at a Group of Seven summit in Canada.
U.S. trading partners have been furious over President Donald Trump’s decision last week to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, the European Union and Mexico as part of his “America First” agenda. Some countries have retaliated with their own levies on U.S. imports.
“The principle of a dialogue was agreed this afternoon,” the French official told reporters. “Everyone agreed, including President Trump.”
While G7 leaders confronted Trump with a slew of data on imports and exports in a bid to sway his thinking, Trump countered his own numbers and held his position that the United States was at a disadvantage on international trade, an official who followed the talks said.
But Trump struck a more affable tone after a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, saying the French leader was helping work out trade issues.
“Something’s going to happen. I think it will be very positive,” Trump said, without giving details.