Trump trade fury torpedoes Canada’s G7 summit

Geraldine Edwards
June 10, 2018

US President Donald Trump dramatically withdrew his endorsement of a joint statement at the end of a G7 summit in Canada Saturday in a row over trade, accusing the summit's chairman Justin Trudeau of dishonesty.

In a second tweet, Trump said, "PM Justin Trudeau of Canada acted so meek and mild during our @G7 meetings only to give a news conference after I left saying that, "US Tariffs were kind of insulting" and he 'will not be pushed around.' Very dishonest & weak".

During a press conference at the G7 summit in Quebec, Canada, Trump said that he suggested that all tariffs, trade barriers, and industrial subsidies should be dropped in order to facilitate free trade.

Trump had bilateral meetings on Friday with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and French President Emmanuel Macron.

He said the move was based on Mr Trudeau's "false statements at his news conference, and the fact that Canada is charging massive tariffs to our USA farmers, workers and companies".

At one point, the agreement states, "we acknowledge that free, fair and mutually beneficial trade and investment, while creating reciprocal benefits, are key engines for growth and job creation". Mexico slapped a 25% import tariff on US steel products, as well as 20% on pork products, 25% on bourbon and duties on other agricultural goods including cranberries.

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Canada wants a deal too, but Trudeau reiterated the government view that the U.S.'s proposed five-year sunset clause is a non-starter. "I think it would be good for the world, I think it would be good for Russian Federation, I think it would be good for the United States, I think it would be good for all of the countries of the current G7", Trump said. The annual summit sees leaders of seven of the world's most powerful nations - The UK, The USA, France, Germany, Japan, Italy and Canada - come together for discussion. Economists point out that the current United States economy is much more driven by services like hospitals, universities, tech companies and banks.

Trudeau again denounced Trump's decision to invoke national security concerns to impose tariffs on aluminum and steel as "insulting" to the Canadian war veterans who had fought alongside USA allies.

Trump had already said he would not hesitate to shut countries out of the USA market if they retaliate to his tariffs.

Mr Trump has long said the North American Free Trade Agreement has been a "disaster" for the USA and has insisted that it be renegotiated.

"So, if I can get the president to actually realize that what he's doing is counterproductive for his own goals as well, then perhaps we can move forward in a smarter way". "We are like the piggy bank that everybody's robbing and that ends".

"I would say that the level of relationships is a 10 - we have a great relationship".

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Mr. Trump, though, said conversations were cordial and respectful at the summit.

Going into the summit, Mr Trump was at odds with other leaders on issues such as trade, Iran and climate change.

"Prime Minister Trudeau is being so indignant, bringing up the relationship that the USA and Canada had over the many years and all sorts of other things.but he doesn't bring up the fact that they charge us up to 300 percent on dairy - hurting our Farmers, killing our Agriculture!" "And they understand it's going to happen".

UPDATE: Trudeau has responded to Trump's tweets.

Trump added that the meeting was a "one-time shot" but he thought it would "work out very well".

The window to pass a deal in this Congress has nearly certainly closed, observers say, and Mexico will elect a new president on July 1.

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