Trump Unites U.S. Allies-in Opposition to His Trade Policies

Clay Curtis
June 8, 2018

Trudeau heaped scorn on Donald Trump's national security justification for the new metal tariffs.

VideoKey U.S. allies and trading partners voiced their anger with U.S. President Donald Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminum, and powerful donors within the Republican Party announced efforts to support free trade. "We can't wage a trade war between friends", Emmanuel Macron said, adding that he the countries have to remain polite as the USA is an ally and "we need them".

Trudeau described the tariffs as "unilateral and illegal" and the national security pretext as "risible".

Last week Trudeau was publicly critical of Trump's big announcement, saying, "The idea that we are somehow a national security threat to the United States is quite frankly insulting and unacceptable".

Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland questioned the Trump administration's move on CNN. "Do you really believe that Canada, that your North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies, represent a national security threat to you?"

The remarks underscore the differences between Trump and his fellow G7 leaders over the usefulness of the worldwide multilateral world order, something Trudeau and the other world leaders are struggling to defend.

"There is no reason to use this provision to consider imposing tariffs on the automobile industry, and this appears to be either an attempt to affect domestic politics ahead of the election or for some other transactional objective regarding ongoing trade discussions". Thomas Wright, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, told reporters that for Trump's first 500 days, "these countries generally were bent over backwards not to criticize President Trump. This is a risky course and should be abandoned immediately", Corker said in the statement.

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Last year, at Trump's first G-7 meeting, he agreed to sign on to the joint statement, even embracing language that the leaders of Europe and Canada have accused the United States of now violating. "Earlier today, this message was conveyed to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada: The United States will agree to a fair deal, or there will be no deal at all".

Regardless of what the rest of the world might think, Trump is deadly serious about reforming a global trade system he believes is fundamentally broken, Kudlow said.

When Trudeau won power, the bedrock of his foreign policy was to return Canada to its traditional multilateral leanings - support for institutions such as the United Nations, NATO, the G7 and the global trading order.

"Granted, at the time Canada was still a British colony and any resident there would have been considered British".

A day before the G7 summit begins in the mountainous Quebec town of La Malbaie, the French leader and Mr. Trudeau held a strategy session in Ottawa aimed at confronting Mr. Trump and his protectionist trade agenda.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has embarked on a furious media campaign in recent days, attacking Donald Trump's trade policy in a move that shows a substantial shift in the leader's attitude toward the U.S. president.

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