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Ottawa (AFP) – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday he expects “frank and sometimes difficult” conversations with US President Donald Trump on US tariffs at the upcoming G7 summit.

The Canadian prime minister will host the leaders of Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States for an annual G7 summit in La Malbaie, Quebec on Friday and Saturday.

“We know certainly that there will be frank and sometimes difficult discussions around the G7 table, particularly with the US president on tariffs,” Trudeau told reporters.

He had hoped to put the focus on jobs, security concerns, cleaning up the world’s oceans and empowering women. But officials have conceded the G7 agenda is likely to be overtaken by trade disputes.

Last week, the Trump administration unveiled punishing tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum from the EU, Canada and Japan, among others.

That was met with retaliatory levies, which have raised fears of a trade war and prompted complaints to be filed with the World Trade Organization.

“The world economic order is under pressure, under attack,” Canada’s Trade Minister Francois Philippe Champagne said earlier

“We must continue to work together because a world where there are no rules is a world where nobody wins,” he warned.

“Let us modernize what needs to be modernized,” he said in reference to the WTO. “But let’s also remember that these global rules have allowed all of our economies to prosper.

Ahead of the G7, Trudeau will welcome French President Emmanuel to Ottawa, where he said they are expected to form a common front against US protectionism.

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