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Trump softens tone on China, Iran at G-7 Summit

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THE WALL STREET JOURNAL:

President Trump struck a conciliatory tone on the final day of the Group of Seven summit, where he faced pressure from French President Emmanuel Macron to de-escalate the trade war with China and ease tensions with Iran. At a joint news conference with Mr. Macron, Mr. Trump said he was open to meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. The remarks came hours after the Iranian leader signaled that he too was open to talks, and Mr. Macron said he hoped the two leaders would speak in the coming weeks.

Mr. Trump also sounded a more optimistic note Monday about trade talks with China after having doubled down on his tariff policy only a day ago. “I think they want to make a deal,” Mr. Trump said. Asked earlier Monday if he would consider delaying or canceling planned tariffs on China, he replied: “Anything’s possible.” Mr. Trump’s softer rhetoric on China helped to calm investors worried about any further escalation in U.S.-China trade tensions. Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 advanced about 1%. The overtures softened the landing of an otherwise turbulent three-day summit at this French sea resort.

Through it all, Mr. Macron executed a high-wire act that managed to keep Mr. Trump in check and avoided some major incidents seen at last year’s summit, when Mr. Trump withdrew from the joint communiqué after leaving the event. The summit began with the French leader cornering Mr. Trump to discuss Iran and China—without White House aides present—and crescendoed with the unscheduled arrival of Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif on the sidelines of the summit. In the end, Mr. Trump appeared to relish the summit’s off-the-cuff atmosphere.

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