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.”
Expectations for a major breakthrough on trade at the summit, however, remain low, with U.S. allies focused on avoiding rupturing the G7, which in its 42-year history has tended to seek consensus on major issues.
“It’s highly unlikely there will be a final communique,” a G7 official said on condition of anonymity.