Donald Trump’s trade adviser apologises for insulting Justin Trudeau

Wednesday, 13 Jun, 2018

Lindsey Graham on Tuesday suggested that if North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attempts to renege on a deal with Donald Trump, he could end up on the USA president's bad side - just like the leader of one of the US's closest allies, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

"In conveying that message I used language that was inappropriate and basically lost the power of that message", he said.

Navarro said he had been trying to use strong words to back Mr. Trump's trade stance but went too far.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, who will be in Washington on Wednesday and Thursday, is hoping to meet with US trade czar Robert Lighthizer to resume discussions on modernizing the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Navarro condemned Trudeau following the Canadian leader's news conference after his summit meeting with Trump and other world leaders from the Group of Seven.

On Sunday, Navarro, who is Trump's most hawkish trade adviser, assailed Trudeau for engaging in "bad faith diplomacy" in the wake of the G-7 meeting.

Larry Kudlow, Trump's top economic adviser, echoed Navarro during an interview on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday, saying that Trudeau's comments amounted to a "betrayal".

Trump is now feuding with Trudeau and other close allies of the United States over trade just one day after leaving the G7 Summit in Canada where he met with world leaders. Kudlow was hospitalised after suffering a mild heart attack when he returned to Washington.

Citing Confucius, Navarro said, "if you make a mistake and don't correct it, that's a mistake".

"We support the continuing efforts by the president on North Korea, (and) we look forward to looking at the details of the agreement", Trudeau said.

He made the apology - something that former USA ambassador to Canada Bruce Heyman, among others, was demanding that he do - during a Wall Street Journal event today in Washington.

Amid the high-stakes trade negotiations still under way between China and the United States, Beijing is moving full steam ahead with a strategy that one top White House adviser said was the target of USA trade action. That was when Trudeau said Canada would take retaliatory steps in response to steel and aluminum tariffs imposed by Trump on Canada and other allies. "I've been called worse things by better people", the elder Trudeau replied.

"I have a good relationship with Justin Trudeau, I really did". He learned. You can't do that.

"And I see the television and he's giving a news conference about how he will not be pushed around by the United States and I say push him around?".

The insults stemmed from a closing G7 press conference on Saturday in which Trudeau called U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs "insulting" and pledged to proceed with previously announced retaliatory tariffs.

"What I've learned from this is that, particularly in my role, as a presidential adviser, what we need to do, and what I need to do, is simply focus on the serious policy differences and issues", Navarro said.