Trump pulls out of joint G7 statement, calls Trudeau "weak"

Tuesday, 12 Jun, 2018

The prime minister's silence on Monday came in sharp contrast to a roar of disapproval among Canadian politicians, who banded together across party lines to denounce Trump's attack and praise the bilateral and trading relationship between the two neighbours.

"Canada does not believe that ad hominem attacks are a particularly appropriate or useful way to conduct our relations with other countries", Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said.

Or, put another way: If Trump is willing to treat Trudeau, who he allegedly really likes, this way, what does that mean for us?

Trudeau announced on Saturday that all G7 members had endorsed the joint communique; however, he noted that the US tariffs are "insulting" and Canada "will not be pushed around".

According to the Quebec newspaper, talks quickly disintegrated after that and word spread that Trump was planning to hold his own private press conference before leaving the summit early.

The blowup drew rebukes from nearly every other member of the G7 - a group containing the U.S., the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan - and raised the possibility for more back-and-forth trade restrictions.

But Trump's latest counter-punch cast doubt on any hopes for a quick resolution of his mounting tariff disputes with Canada and the European Union, and signalled that Trump is far from backing down.

Mr Trump has consistently said that countries that have a trade surplus with the United States - meaning they export more to the U.S. than they import - are "taking advantage" of the US.

"The United States loses political influence in the rest of the world, and they also lose position as a centerpiece in efforts to find global joint mechanisms and set the agenda", said Solberg, who had been invited to attend the summit.

Of the 32 states that count Canada as their biggest export destination, 20 voted for Trump in the 2016 election.

The president seems to think raising US tariffs will accomplish that end. "Minimum is 17B. Tax Dairy from us at 270%", he wrote in the first of five tweets relating to the weekend's summit. Before Trudeau can respond, Trump jumps in, saying, "No, he's happy".

Trudeau said in the news conference Saturday that Canada will "move forward with retaliatory measures" on July 1 in response to the Trump administration's decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, the European Union and Mexico.

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.

"What we have is a country here in the United States, which has the lowest tariffs in the world, lowest non-tariff barriers in the world", said Peter Navarro, a White House trade adviser, on CNN in March. Navarro later clarified that his comments were "the sentiment that was on Air Force One after that".

'Based on Justin's false statements at his news conference, and the fact that Canada is charging massive Tariffs to our US farmers, workers and companies, I have instructed our US Reps not to endorse the Communique as we look at Tariffs on automobiles flooding the US market!' he tweeted.

"I think she is outlining Canada's actual position and is outlining actual steps that have been taken and are being taken", he told Xinhua in an interview.

"Fair Trade is now to be called Fool Trade if it is not Reciprocal".

"Sorry, we can not let our friends, or enemies, take advantage of us on trade anymore".