Tuesday, 19 June, 2018

"Didn't Canada Burn Down White House?" Donald Trump To Justin Trudeau

Russell Knight | 08 June, 2018, 16:16

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called President Trump's new tariffs "insulting" earlier this week, wondering why the USA was suddenly treating its Northern neighbor like a national security threat.

When Trump invoked new tariffs on aluminum and steel imports to the USA and said the current trade climate poses a "national security threat" to his country, he stunned not only the worldwide community and American allies, but members of his own government.

Macron said he will huddle with the leaders of Britain, Germany and Italy to forge a common approach on how to handle Donald Trump at the Group of Seven summit in Canada.

"Because these six countries represent values, they represent an economic market which has the weight of history behind it and which is now a true global force", added Macron after he had his one-to-one with Trudeau earlier in the day.

But Trump took to Twitter earlier today to signal he's got his elbows up in advance of his Canadian debut in Quebec.

"The American President may not mind being isolated, but neither do we mind signing a six country agreement if need be", Macron tweeted in English, turning to the medium Trump has made his own.

But they expressed support for the USA president's historic meeting in Singapore with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, scheduled to take place early next week.

Although Mr Trump insists the tariffs are necessary to protect USA industry, Canada and European Union chiefs have denounced them as illegal.

By departing early, the US leader will miss talks about climate change and clean energy, and be out of the country by the time Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other leaders begin closing news conferences likely to be laden with criticism of USA trade policy.

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Canada countered by announcing it would slap an estimated $16.6 billion in duties on some steel and aluminum products and other goods from the USA, including maple syrup, beer kegs, whisky and toilet paper.

Canada's Trade Minister Francois Philippe Champagne was even more blunt, declaring: "What we are seeing is that the world economic order is under pressure, under attack".

Ahead of the meeting, Trump revealed that he expected trade tensions to ratchet higher amid the continuous disputes over Washington's tariffs on steel and aluminum.

Tension has been building over a year of policymaking that has distanced the US from traditional allies, including by Trump's decisions to withdraw the USA from the Paris climate accord and the Iran nuclear agreement. "I believe it can be worked out", top White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told reporters on Wednesday.

At stake is the risk of tit-for-tat tariffs between the major western economies turning into an unrestrained trade war.

Trump is scheduled to arrive Friday morning for the Summit.

While it is unlikely that leaders will be openly hostile to Trump, they may be a little more direct in their criticism of the United States.

"American jobs are on the line because of his actions and because of his administration", Trudeau said at a joint news conference with Macron earlier in the day in Ottawa.

Trump may have less to fear than slow-growing Europe and Japan from a trade war in terms of economic losses if the "G6" pushes back on tariffs.

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