Canada PM safe for now as Trump attacks, but angry farmers loom

Elias Hubbard
June 13, 2018

He called Mr Trudeau "dishonest & weak" after Mr Trudeau said at a news conference that Canada would retaliate for new United States tariffs.

After one White House adviser said there was "a special place in hell" for foreign leaders like Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and another said Trudeau "stabbed us in the back", Canadian leaders offered a measured - even polite - response.

"Let me correct a mistake I made", Navarro said at a conference in Washington hosted by The Wall Street Journal. "I own that, that was my mistake, my words".

There have been reports that Mr. Trump was upset because the President felt that after he had generously agreed to give in on a key Canadian sticking point - the US demand for a sunset clause that would see NAFTA renegotiated after five years - Mr. Trudeau was talking tough.

Mr. Trump's complaint is that Canada-U.S. discussions went well behind closed doors at the G7 meeting in La Malbaie, Que., but Mr. Trudeau made it sound different in public.

Normally a conciliatory, charming figure, Justin Trudeau is being forced to transform himself into a kind of "Captain Canada" in order to fight a trade war with Donald Trump that has the potential to be as destructive as it is surprising.

Asked if he was apologizing, Navarro said "yeah, absolutely".

Describing the USA tariffs on European steel and aluminium as "unjustified", she left no doubt that EU nations would impose counter-measures on United States goods in response but cautioned against tit-for-tat retaliation which might lead to a trade war. He didn't specify what he considered false about Trudeau's statements.

"I think it's a very fair question", Trump said. Hipp then backed the president's view that Trudeau "pulled a stunt" by standing up to USA tariffs.

While Trump expressed surprise at Trudeau's remarks, his comments were largely in line with what Canadian officials had said since Trump's announcement of tariffs.

"We've had American tariffs that have been put in overnight, Mr. Speaker".

Trump said he was retaliating against Canada with countervailing tariffs, saying of Trudeau: "He learned that's going to cost a lot of money for the people of Canada". He was asked why he was jeopardizing relations with long-standing allies like Canada while welcoming a historical USA enemy with open arms as a friend.

"Historically global peace and prosperity have flourished when trade has flourished, so fighting United States industrial protectionism with Canadian consumer protectionism makes good copy and little sense", Batstone said in an email.

The foreign affairs minister spoke to reporters in Ottawa and offered a markedly different tone from the attacks lobbed at Canada, one of the United States' closest allies, this weekend by President Trump and other members of his administration.

"We've got to look at what supports are available to ensure that if their jobs, their livelihoods are compromised, what can the government do to support these folks".

Trudeau was speaking at a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron when the apparent eyebrow mishap occurred, with pictures appearing to show one eyebrow unusually lower than the other.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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