Canada rallies to Trudeau after Trump's insult

Elias Hubbard
June 13, 2018

Premier Wade MacLauchlan publicly expressed his support in the legislature for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday, in the wake of the growing U.S.

Members of Parliament gave unanimous consent for a motion backing Canadian steel and aluminium, hit by United States tariffs, as well as the supply management system that supports key agriculture sectors, and gave a standing ovation for the government response to the Trump administration's verbal attacks on Trudeau.

"What I saw Prime Minister Trudeau say was, I thought, fairly benign and certainly didn't warrant any attack".

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. The move has been roundly criticized by Canada and the European Union, leading to heightened tensions at last week's summit of the Group of Seven wealthy democracies - just before Trump left for Singapore and a meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

"This is a small-minded man not fit for public office".

President Donald Trump attacked America's closest allies in tweets after leaving the meeting in Canada.

Mr Trump also responded by announcing that he was backing out of a joint communiqué on trade between the USA and its main allies. "I don't understand the obsession with trade relations with Canada", he sighed.

Despite his own US Trade Representative's office confirming the trade surplus falls more than $8 billion in Washington's favour Trump has repeatedly insisted that US workers are getting ripped off by NAFTA.

Behind his claim lies a difference in how the countries' calculate the trade figures.

According to the USTR, America counts Canadian goods that are shipped to regional trading hubs within the United States and then re-exported back to Canada or Mexico as U.S. exports.

Yet he worked to smooth over the ideological differences and to present himself as the best neighbor the United States could hope for.

The fight could have serious economic consequences, since Canada is the US's top trade partner and the largest export market for 32 states.

Trump did not seem to think that this question was unreasonable. The first issue involved the World Trade Organization. In the course of discussion, a compromise was reached, with the final wording speaking about commitment to "modernize the WTO to make it more fair as soon as possible".

The US President is also making threats against Canada's dairy producers and automakers.

"The picture with Angela Merkel, who I get along with very well, where I'm sitting there like this" - Trump said, crossing his arms - "that picture, I'm waiting for the document because I wanted to see the final document".

Trump's tariffs would hurt the Canadian and Ontario economies, but it will also impact American steel operations, which rely on Canadian product. Nor did the USA administration want to sign a charter regarding plastic in the ocean.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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