Trump, Trudeau swap jokes but hold firm in trade dispute

Clay Curtis
June 12, 2018

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland spoke against the United States over its tariffs on steel and aluminum on Friday during the summit.

US President Donald Trump on Monday continued his vitriolic attacks on several close allies in the wake of his early departure from an unusually discordant G7 meeting in Canada, which saw him withdraw US support for a joint communique.

Trump has been on a tear about German trade and cars in particular, bringing up the issues with other European leaders with whom he has met over the last few months, the source said.

Canada last week announced retaliatory tariffs on C$16.6 billion ($12.8 billion) worth of US exports and said it will challenge USA steel and aluminum tariffs under the North American Free Trade Agreement and the World Trade Organization.

The prime minister said although retaliation "is not something I relish doing", he would not hesitate to do so because "I will always protect Canadian workers and Canadian interests". Trudeau, who threatened retaliatory tariffs, also said Canada would not be "pushed around".

Larry Kudlow, the White House economic adviser, also characterized Trudeau's remarks as a "betrayal". Trump also tweets that he instructed USA officials not to endorse the joint communique agreed upon by G7 leaders. "And then tries to stab him in the back on the way out the door".

"Trudeau did not make President Trump look weak", Hayden said on CNN Newday Monday. He complained he was blindsided by Trudeau's criticism of his tariff threats during the premier's summit-ending news conference. "That's what weak, dishonest Justin Trudeau did, and that comes right from Air Force One", said Navarro.

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Trump continued with his tweets overnight, railing against countries that he said have trade surpluses with the United States, even as he was preparing for a crucial one-on-one summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un in Singapore.

"He is not going to permit any show of weakness on the trip to negotiate with North Korea", Kudlow told CNN.

Less than 24 hours before his meeting with Kim, Trump found time to lambast what he sees as unfair trade practices among the other six industrialized democracies at the summit. "He can't do that". He let out multiple tweets calling the Canadian leader "meek" and accusing him of making "false statements" yesterday evening.

G7 allies seemed as perplexed as Canada at the sudden diplomatic row, and Germany and France accused Mr Trump of destroying trust and acting inconsistently.

"Fair Trade is now to be called Fool Trade if it is not Reciprocal". Canada is the top U.S. export market, with the country buying more than $340 billion in American goods and services in 2017, according to data from the U.S. Trade Representative. "Our Tariffs are in response to his of 270% on dairy". At one point he wrote, "Justin acts hurt when called out!"

NDP MP Tracey Ramsey's motion also affirmed the Commons' support for workers and supply management - and called on the House to "reject disparaging ad hominem statements by USA officials which do a disservice to bilateral relations and work against efforts to resolve this trade dispute".

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