Ottawa: French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed support for "strong multilateralism" in Ottawa on Thursday before the G7 summit, where US President Donald Trump's aggressive trade policies are sure to raise hackles.
Displaying a united front, the two leaders in their 40s said in a statement they "support a strong, responsible, transparent multilateralism to face the global challenges."
The pair were scheduled to hold formal talks and a private dinner, followed by a joint news conference.
Those discussions are likely to focus on Trump's decision last week to impose punishing tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum from Washington's closest allies, including Canada, the European Union and Japan.
In retaliation, all of them have either hit back with their own tariffs on US goods or threatened to do so, as well as challenging the US trade measure at the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Both Trudeau and Macron had tried to persuade Trump not to impose the tariffs.
"There will be frank and sometimes difficult discussions around the G7 table, particularly with the US president on tariffs," Trudeau told reporters.
His private meeting with Macron, he said, "will be an opportunity to talk about the relations between Canada and France that are going very well, but also to highlight the challenges that we are going to have around the G7 table, and to make sure we are aligned."
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Updated Date: Jun 07, 2018 10:21:16 IST