The NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organization - summit is taking place in the UK this year, with leaders from 29 member states meeting over two days. In the weeks leading up to the summit, tensions have been apparent between French President Emmanuel Macron and US President Donald Trump, following a threat from the latter to raise duties on French exports.
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On Monday, Mr Trump threatened to impose duties of up to 100 percent on imports of champagne, handbags and other French products.
Multiple reports said French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire blasted the US tariffs as “unacceptable”.
Mr Le Maire told Radio Classique: “In case of new American sanctions, the European Union would be ready to retaliate.“
He later said at a press conference: “We are not targeting any country.”USA vs France: President Trump threatened sanctions on French imports (Image: PA)
On Tuesday, Mr Trump and Mr Macron held a joint press conference in London, which many said was “awkward”.
Mr Trump told reporters: “We’ve taxed wine and we have other taxes scheduled. We’d rather not do that, but that’s the way it would work.
“So it’s either going to work out, or we’ll work out some mutually beneficial tax.
“The tax will be substantial, and I’m not sure it’s going to come to that but it might.”USA vs France: Mr Macron is angry at both the US and Turkey (Image: PA)
However, both sides have said they hope to “work it out”, with Mr Trump calling the trade disagreement a “minor dispute”.
Mr Trump was sat alongside Mr Macron as he said at the press conference earlier on Tuesday: “We’ll be talking about a lot of things including NATO and including trade ...
“We have had a minor dispute but I think we will probably be able to work it out.”
He added: ”I am sure within a short period of time things will be looking very rosy, we hope.
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“That’s usually the case between the two of us - we get it worked out.”
Mr Macron echoed this sentiment saying: “I think we can settle this situation with President Trump.
“I am rather confident we can have a discussion together about it.”
However, Mr Macron stressed, he was “determined to defend the interests of our country and of Europe”.
The US threat to impose duties of up to 100 percent on imports of champagne, handbags and other French products worth $2.4 billion (£1.85 billion) came following a US government investigation.USA vs France: Mr Macron and Mr Trump's press conference was dubbed 'awkward' (Image: GETTY)
The investigation found France’s new digital services tax would harm US technology companies.
However, trade is not the only point of contention as both Mr Trump and Mr Macron are also clashing over Turkey.
Mr Macron is furious over Turkey’s plans to buy a Russian missile system, and over its invasion of Syria.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also hit out at Mr Macron for comments he made about NATO being “brain dead”.
Mr Macron said in an interview with The Economist: “What we are currently experiencing is the brain death of NATO.
“You should check whether you are brain dead.”
Mr Erdogan said Mr Macron’s “brain death” remarks were “unacceptable.”
Mr Erdogan said: “I am talking to France’s President Emmanuel Macron, and I will also say this at NATO.
“First of all, have your own brain death checked. These statements are suitable only to people like you who are in a state of brain death.”USA vs France: Mr Trump and his wife Melania arriving at Buckingham Palace (Image: PA)
“You know how to show off but you cannot even properly pay for NATO. You are a novice.”
He went on to criticise France’s presence in Syria, and said: “We don’t know what France means for NATO, but Turkey is NATO’s most important member.”
Mr Trump also criticised the French President’s comments saying in a press conference: “When you make a statement like that, that is a very, very nasty statement to essentially 28, including them, 28 countries.
“Nobody needs NATO more than France.”
Mr Trump added France, where Mr Macron has faced a year of protests against his economic reforms, was “not doing well economically”.
Meanwhile, politicians in the US are - like Mr Macron - voicing their concern over Turkey’s purchasing of a missile defence system and are pressuring Mr Trump’s administration to pose sanctions on Mr Erdogan’s country.
Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said in a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo: “The time for patience has long expired. It is time you applied the law.
“Failure to do so is sending a terrible signal to other countries that they can flout US laws without consequence.”
On Tuesday night, all 29 NATO leaders will attend Buckingham Palace for a reception and banquet hosted by the Queen - celebrating 70 years of the organisation.