As President Trump was leaving the G7 summit in Quebec, Canada yesterday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau decided to take it upon himself to stab the American President in the back by vowing that Canada won’t be pushed around in a confrontation with the U.S.
According to Red State Wave, the war of words escalated when President Trump fired back at Trudeau’s comments were he referred to the Canadian leader as “Very dishonest & weak” after the summit, while at the same time Trump also tweeted that he was revoking U.S. endorsement of the summit’s final joint statement.
Trudeau’s reply to this was that his nation was insulted that President Trump unilaterally imposed stiff tariffs on Canada because of national security reasons while at the same time expressing the true bond there is between Canada and the U.S. when it comes to jointly fighting conflicts around the world.
“Canadians … stood shoulder to shoulder with American soldiers in far off lands in conflicts from the First World War onward,” the prime minister said at a press conference at the end of the summit, The Washington Post reported. “It’s kind of insulting.”
“Canadians, we’re polite, we’re reasonable, but we also will not be pushed around,” Trudeau continued.”
Although they have already done so all along, Trudeau later added that his country would have no issue imposing its own tariffs in retaliation for the ones imposed by the U.S.
To which Donald Trump wasted no time replying to:
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. Our Tariffs are in response to his of 270% on dairy!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 9, 2018
Based on Justin’s false statements at his news conference, and the fact that Canada is charging massive Tariffs to our U.S. farmers, workers and companies, I have instructed our U.S. Reps not to endorse the Communique as we look at Tariffs on automobiles flooding the U.S. Market!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 9, 2018
Peter Navarro: “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…that’s what bad faith Justin Trudeau did with that stunt press conference.” pic.twitter.com/KtqKXizBEc
— FoxNewsSunday (@FoxNewsSunday) June 10, 2018
President Trump made it very clear at the meeting that the U.S. would end all trade with nations that refuse to end “unfair” trade practices with the U.S. while at the same time using the meeting to call free trade down the line. A free trade of all nations where one side doesn’t impose tariffs while the other side watches and does nothing.
The president further annoyed the other G7 members by calling for Russia, which was expelled after the annexation of Crimea in 2014 to be welcomed back to the group and by arriving late to a “working breakfast” on Saturday with the General Equality Advisory Council and leaving early before the sessions for climate change and the environment began.
Here is more information as to what led up to this confrontation via Automotive News:
“President Donald Trump is warning Canada that any renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement must be “a fair deal, or there will be no deal at all,” escalating a leader-level standoff triggered by U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum.
“The United States has been taken advantage of for many decades on trade,” Trump said in a statement released Thursday night by the White House. “Those days are over. Earlier today, this message was conveyed to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada: The United States will agree to a fair deal, or there will be no deal at all.” He followed up with a tweet Friday criticizing Canadian agricultural policy.
The statement was an apparent response to remarks made by a frustrated Trudeau earlier Thursday, when he announced retaliatory tariffs. The Canadian leader said a planned meeting with Trump to potentially seal a NAFTA deal collapsed after Vice President Mike Pence called and insisted the meeting was conditional on adding a sunset clause.
The development is the latest sign of leaders hardening their positions — Trudeau said he saw an accord within reach but other core disputes remain, including the sunset clause. Canada and Mexico have signaled there’d only be a quick deal if the U.S. made concessions on outstanding issues to seal a win on automobiles. If the U.S. digs in instead, NAFTA talks look set to drag on, or worse: Trump repeatedly threatens to quit the current NAFTA altogether.
In a broadening of trade tensions, America’s closest allies plan to slap billions of dollars in tit-for-tat tariffs on U.S. goods after the Trump administration announced it’s imposing steel and aluminum duties on them. The reaction was swift after Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced the U.S. on Friday will levy new metals duties on imports from the European Union, Mexico and Canada on national security grounds, ending their temporary exemptions.
Quitting NAFTA would be yet another explosive and controversial trade move by the Trump administration. The U.S., Canada and Mexico trade more than a trillion dollars in goods annually. It would also signal no one is safe: Mexico and Canada are the top two buyers of U.S. exports.
Trump made his threat Thursday, but Trudeau made the same one two days earlier. He said during a Bloomberg interview in Toronto that k*****g NAFTA — the existing 1994 deal, as Trump threatens — is better for Canada than swallowing a bad deal to update it.
“No NAFTA is better than a bad deal, and we’ve made that very clear to the president,” the prime minister said.
Trump followed up Friday morning with a tweet saying Canada had treated U.S. farmers poorly. “They must open their markets and take down their trade barriers!” he wrote. “Do Timber & Lumber in U.S.?” It was unclear what he was referring to; the U.S. is already applying tariffs to Canadian softwood lumber.
NAFTA talks continue, with a deal needed probably within days to have any hope of passing the current U.S. Congress — as had been the Trump administration’s goal — and with Mexican elections one month away. Failing to reach an accord on an update doesn’t necessarily mean NAFTA is d**d, though. The existing pact remains on the books. Any country can quit on six months’ notice, which isn’t binding, in that they can give notice and never actually quit. No country has yet given notice, though Trump threatens to.
Earlier Thursday, Wilbur Ross, in announcing the steel and aluminum tariffs against U.S. allies, including Canada and Mexico, said the NAFTA talks were “taking longer than we had hoped” to complete. “The status to which they got did not justify continuing exemption from the tariffs based on the national security considerations of the overall situation,” he said.
Ross also said there was “no longer a very precise date when they will be concluded.” Taken with Trump’s statement, that signals the NAFTA partners are entrenched — and the window Trudeau saw to sew up a deal may have closed.”