MIAMI (CBSMiami) — President Donald Trump sat down for his first meeting with Italy’s prime minister as he looked to build international relationships to deal with global crises amid distancing from other countries over the administration’s trade policies.
President Trump and Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni discussed trade and security ahead of next month’s G-7 gathering in Sicily.
“We both seek a trade relationship that is balanced and reciprocal. I love the word reciprocal, because we don’t have very many reciprocal relationships. I will tell you that but we will very soon,” said Trump.
Earlier, the president hosted steel executives in the Oval Office as he signed an order launching an investigation into whether steel imports are threatening U.S. National Security.
“Steel is critical to both our economy and our military. This is not an area where we can afford to become dependent on foreign countries, said Trump.
The president also took a swipe at Canada for policies he says are hurting U.S. dairy farmers.
“We can’t let Canada or anybody else take advantage and do what they did to our workers and to our farmers,” said Trump.
At the same time, the White House is looking for a unified front with U.S. allies as it faces the crisis in Syria and pressing China for help reigning in North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.
President Trump insisted his trade probe was not targeting Chinese steel.
“This has nothing to do with China. This has to do with worldwide, what’s happening,” said Tump.
Trump’s commerce secretary says Chinese steel exports have continued to rise and are now 26 percent of the U.S. market.
On Thursday, both China and Russia were part of a unanimous U.N. Security Council resolution condemning North Korea’s recent attempt to launch a ballistic missile, demanding it conduct no further nuclear tests and threatening more sanctions.