White House blasts Trudeau over G7 statements

Elias Hubbard
June 12, 2018

Moving onto tariffs, Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau denounced Trump's plan to slap hefty tariffs on steel and aluminum imports on key US trading partners.

Mr Trump's looming summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un heightened tension, and White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow accused Mr Trudeau of betraying Mr Trump with "polarising" statements on trade policy that risked making the USA leader look weak on the eve of the historic North Korea summit.

Trump on Saturday said the US would not sign the G-7 communique, and USA officials suggested Trudeau had double-crossed the president by saying one thing in private and another publicly.

But Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Sunday on ABC's "This Week", "I'm not so sure John's right about where America is on trade". May said the USA has already asked about negotiating a trade agreement post-Brexit and she expressed confidence that the United Kingdom government will be able to negotiate a fair arrangement.

U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a bilateral meeting at the G7 Summit in in Charlevoix, Quebec, Canada, June 8, 2018.

And Roland Paris, a former foreign policy adviser to Trudeau, jabbed Mr. Trump on Twitter: "Big tough guy once he's back on his airplane".

Trump had already said he would not hesitate to shut countries out of the USA market if they retaliate to steep tariffs he has imposed on steel and aluminium imports. "Least of all from subordinates of the president directed at the prime minister of their greatest friend and ally", he said.

Members of Trump's inner circle continued the attacks, with both chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow - who said that Trudeau had "stabbed us in the back" - and Peter Navarro, Trump's trade adviser, directing a series of stinging comments at the Canadian leader.

But other Republicans have held their tongue, wary of doing anything to undermine Trump's negotiating hand ahead of the President's meeting with Kim in Singapore.

For good measure, Trump sent out more tweets the morning of June 8 before his arrival in Quebec- "Canada charges the USA a 270% tariff on Dairy Products!" Kudlow said Trump won't let people "take pot shots at him" and that Trudeau "should've known better".

"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.

Hayden said he reacted to the attacks with "a mixture of sadness and, frankly, anger because no country deserves to be treated that way".

"The communique was agreed by all the parties who attended the G7 and we fully intend to honour it", the spokesman said. Navarro later clarified that his comments were "the sentiment that was on Air Force One after that". "Americans stand with you, even if our president doesn't".

President Donald Trump with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the G7 summit. "We're the closest partners in the world and you don't want to see a dispute over one particular issue poison everything". "On the contrary, as part of the USA law, we are part of the national defense base of the United States". In a tweet, Trump pointed to "Justin's false statements at his news conference" and "the fact that Canada is charging massive Tariffs".

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.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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