Axios: Trump tells 'confidants' US will leave Paris climate deal

But in Taormina, for the final throes of the G7, Mr Trump isolated himself, and the USA, from the world's other wealthiest countries, refusing continued commitment to the Paris climate change deal.

Turnbull also described the Paris agreement as "a watershed and a turning point" that would deliver global action on climate change.

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Saturday that sustained commitment to the Paris agreement was "indispensable to the reputation of the United States".

Axios said the decision, if true, would unravel predecessor Barack Obama's climate policies and send a "combative signal" to the rest of the world that global warming isn't one of Trump's priorities.

The uncertainty over his position on the Paris agreement puts him at odds with other members of the G7.

"What the president means by free and open is, we will treat you the way you treat us, meaning if you don't have barriers to trade or you don't have tariffs, we won't have tariffs", he said, quoted by Reuters.

America's exit from the Paris Agreement wouldn't invalidate the accord, which still has the support of most of the world, including China, and is likely to proceed without USA participation.

US President Donald Trump's first trip overseas was supposed to be about building bridges and clarifying his administration's intentions to friends and foes alike.

Other delegates concurred that it was "six against one" at the gathering of leading democracies spanning North America, Europe and Japan. Speaking with the New York Times, Trump's chief economic adviser, Gary Cohn, also made it sound as if Trump was still making up his mind after "a lot of give-and-take between the different countries" at the G7 summit.

"His views are evolving, and he came here to learn", Cohn said.

Under Trump, who once called climate change a "hoax" perpetrated by China and wants to boost the USA coal industry, Washington has resisted intense pressure from its partners to commit to respecting the global 2015 accord on curbing carbon emissions. "His basis for decision ultimately is going to be what's best for the United States". The United States is the world's biggest carbon emitter after China. It would also be fiercely opposed at home by the environmental activists and by American corporations that are investing heavily in cleaner technology.

He also said during his presidential campaign that he would cancel the deal, and has infamously and repeatedly called global warming a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese (and scientists) - but Trump says a lot of things, and has, at least a few times, also hinted that he understood the threat of climate change.

"Leaders must now keep resolve".

The Prime Minister's Office issued a statement outlining some priorities Canada hopes to highlight at the 2018 summit - including familiar language on strengthening the middle class, advancing gender equality, as well as diversity and inclusion, and the fight against climate change.

  • Leroy Wright