G7 summit fails to heal trade rift as Trump stands alone

Cheryl Sanders
June 14, 2018

The United States and Canada swung sharply toward a diplomatic and trade crisis on Sunday as top White House advisers lashed out at Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a day after U.S. President Trump called him "very dishonest and weak".

President Donald Trump threw the G-7 summit into disarray Saturday, tweeting that the USA was pulling back its endorsement of the group's communique in part because of what he called Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's "false statements" at a news conference.

In his press conference, Trudeau had spoken of retaliatory measures that Canada would take next month in response to Trump's decision to slap tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

Merkel, fresh from the G-7 meeting in Canada, said those at the meeting were "firmly convinced that sustainable world economic development can only be achieved in cooperation and through win-win situations".

Trudeau fires back on May 31 over the tariffs being applied on the premise Canada poses a national security threat to the U.S.

"There's a special place in hell for any foreign leader that engages in bad-faith diplomacy with President Donald J. Trump and then tries to stab him in the back on the way out the door ..."


Peanut butter, denim, orange juice, bourbon, motorcycles and cigarettes are a few of the items on a European Union list of American goods now labeled with hefty import taxes, which go into effect July 1.

She said with the Trump administration's decision to implement new tariffs on aluminum and steel imports to the United States, "multilateralism right now is in a complicated and hard phase".

Trump's attacks have Canadian businesses that use aluminum and steel very anxious, said Ontario Conservative MP John Brassard, who added that there is real concern that there will be serious job implications in very short order.

European officials said Trump had tried to water down the language in the draft final summit communique on the World Trade Organization and rules-based trade.

Freeland said of the U.S. tariffs, "The national security pretext is absurd and frankly insulting to Canadians, the closest and strongest ally the United States has had".

The comments from Trudeau prompted Trump to criticize the Canadian leader on Twitter and decline to endorse the G7 communique.


"I think that those are words that I would not have chosen", Short said.

"If they retaliate, they're making a mistake", Mr. Trump said.

And German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas tweeted Sunday that Trump had partly "destroyed" Washington's trusting relationship with Europe by pulling out of the joint communique.

"He's giving a news conference about how he will not be pushed around by the United States. They're gonna do what they can to defend and protect their country, just like we're trying to do the same thing with ours".

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!"

European officials suggested that the upbeat, punchy news conference that Trump delivered before skipping out was aimed at his trade-skeptic supporters back home and did not reflect the results of the summit.


Other reports by iNewsToday

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