A war of words has erupted between President Trump and his senior advisers and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the wake of comments Trudeau made at the end of the recent G7 summit in Quebec.
“I personally negotiated with Prime Minister Trudeau, who by the way, I basically like working with, but not until this sophomoric play,” said the President’s top economic adviser Larry Kudlow on CNN’s State of the Union yesterday.
“It’s a betrayal,” Kudlow added. “[Trudeau] really kind of stabbed us in the back.”
Peter Navarro, President Trump’s top trade representative, called Trudeau “weak and dishonest.”
“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,” Navarro told Fox News’ Chris Wallace. “And that’s what bad faith Justin Trudeau did with that stunt press conference. That’s what weak, dishonest Justin Trudeau did. And that comes right from Air Force One.”
The President tweeted about Trudeau after leaving the summit.
“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!” the President wrote.
As a result, the President said, he instructed U.S. representatives to not sign a communique all G7 counties agreed on at the end of the meeting.
“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!” he wrote.
The harsh words came in response to comments Trudeau made at a press conference at the conclusion of the meeting in which he criticized U.S. tariffs against Canadian goods in the steel and aluminum industries.
The Trump administration recently announced that 25% steel tariffs and 10% aluminum tariffs would in fact go into effect on imports from the European Union, Mexico and Canada.
Trudeau referred to the tariffs as “insulting” and said that “it would be with regret, but it would be with absolute certainty and firmness that we move forward with retaliatory measures on July 1, applying equivalent tariffs to the ones that the Americans have unjustly applied to us.”
The G7 is a group of seven leading democratic economies: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the U.S. Its meetings traditionally serve as opportunities for the countries to discuss economic, security and energy policies.
The communique that the group produced included the statement that the member countries acknowledge “that free, fair and mutually beneficial trade and investment, while creating reciprocal benefits, are key engines for growth and job creation,” a priority for the Trump administration.
Kudlow seemed to allude to the fact that the Trump administration’s about-face on the statement may have something to do with another high-stakes meeting the President is about to attend: his historic summit with North Korean Leader Kim Jong-Un.
Trump is “not going to let a Canadian prime minister push him around” ahead of the North Korea summit, Kudlow said. “He is not going to permit any show of weakness on the trip to negotiate with North Korea.”
So far, the other world leaders seem to be taking Trudeau’s side.
“International co-operation cannot be dictated by fits of anger and throwaway remarks,” a statement released by the office of French President Emmanuel Macron’s read. “We spend two days working out a [joint] statement and commitments. We are sticking to them and whoever reneges on them is showing incoherence and inconsistency.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel called Trump’s decision to pull out of the joint statement “depressing.” Her office released a photo of her speaking with President Trump with a look of exasperation on her face (see featured photo above).
Donald Tusk, president of the European Council tweeted “There is a special place in heaven for @JustinTrudeau. Canada, thank you for the perfect organisation of G7!”
All remaining countries decided to sign the summit’s communique despite President Trump’s withdrawal.
Photo by Office of German Chancellor Angela Merkel