G7 nations made progress on trade negotiations

TAORMINA, Italy (Reuters) – The Group of Seven nations have made progress in negotiations on trade, notably on the issue of multilateralism, a French presidential source said on Saturday, suggesting there has been some softening in the United States’ protectionist stance.

The leaders have been wrangling on the wording of a final communique since Friday with international trade and climate change the main stumbling blocks.

“The discussions on trade are making substantial progress, notably on the issue of multilateralism,” a French presidential source said.

Since taking office, U.S. President Donald Trump, has derided some of the same international partnerships, including the World Trade Organisation, raising the prospect that the Republican’s “America First” agenda might well mean an America more willing to act alone.

A senior White House official on Friday said Trump had told the leaders of Germany, France, Italy, Japan, Canada and Britain that the United States would treat other countries in the same way it was treated.

(Reporting by John Irish; Editing by Crispian Balmer)

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