Canada rallies to Trudeau after Trump's insult

Howard TerryJun 14, 2018

Donald's Trump's chief economic adviser said the United States pulled out of a G7 communique because the Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, "stabbed us in the back" and accused the leader of one America's most important allies of playing a "sophomoric political stunt for domestic consumption". He said Trudeau's promise to follow through with tariffs on USA goods - a response to Trump's own tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico, and the European Union - would hurt the Canadian economy.

"The president wants to go on the trip", Larry Kudlow, Trump's top economic adviser, said of the summit in Canada.

Kudlow sought to tie Trump's reaction to the upcoming summit with Kim Jong Un, saying the North Korean leader "must not see American weakness".

All lawmakers gave a standing ovation for the government's response to the Trump administration's verbal attacks on Trudeau.

Mr Trudeau did not immediately respond, but his office said on Saturday after Mr Trump withdrew support for the communique that the Prime Minister had not said anything in his closing news conference he has not said to Mr Trump before.

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland responded to the White House assault by saying ad hominem attacks were not helpful, that Canada would retaliate to United States tariffs in a measured and reciprocal way and that Canada would always be willing to talk.

"In a matter of seconds, you can destroy trust with 280 Twitter characters", German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said when asked about Mr Trump's U-turn, adding it would take much longer to rebuild lost trust.

The purely symbolic vote of solidarity came a day after White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said: "There is a special place in hell" for Trudeau for his "bad faith diplomacy" with Trump, as a dispute over trade escalated.

Reacting to the same, Kudlow said, "Trudeau really kind of stabbed us in the back".

"That's going to cost a lot of money for the people of Canada", Trump said.

Trudeau said he had told Trump "it would be with regret but it would be with absolute clarity and firmness that we move forward with retaliatory measures on July 1, applying equivalent tariffs to the ones that the Americans have unjustly applied to us".

French President Emmanuel Macron's office reacted Sunday by saying that "international cooperation can not be dictated by fits of anger and throwaway remarks".

Trudeau kept silence after the personal attacks. Trump reportedly pointed to specific trade deficits, particularly in the trade of goods, as evidence that the other leaders were taking advantage of the US.

Canada is facing penalties of 25 per cent on Canadian steel and 10 per cent on aluminum, but Ries says there's still hope no tariffs will be imposed. The European Union also attends.

The Trump-Trudeau scuffle represents a pivot away from the once-friendly relationship between the two leaders.

Threatening such a change could be another effort to advance the negotiations in order to secure a congressional vote on a revised deal by the end of the year, according to global law firm Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg.

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