OTTAWA (Reuters) – French President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday no leader was forever, suggesting a more confrontational attitude towards U.S. President Donald Trump as leaders from the Group of Seven countries prepare to clash on trade at a summit in Canada.
Asked by reporters whether the problem with Trump was that he “didn’t care about being isolated”, Macron said:
“You say the U.S. President doesn’t care at all. Maybe, but nobody is forever,” he told a news conference flanked by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “The six countries of the G7 without the United States, are a bigger market taken together than the American market.”
“There will be no world hegemony if we know how to organize ourselves. And we don’t want there to be one,” Macron said.
Macron had so far taken a more conciliatory tone with Trump, whom he calls his “friend”. On Thursday, although he said it was important to remain civil, he signaled his intention to close ranks with other leaders.
“Maybe the American president doesn’t care about being isolated today, but we don’t mind being six, if needs be,” Macron added.
“Because these six represent values, represent an economic market, and more than anything, represent a real force at the international level today,” he said.
(Reporting by Jean-Baptiste Vey in Ottawa and Michel Rose in Paris; editing by John Irish)