Trump Says Trudeau Comments Will Cost Canada «a Lot of Money»
US President Donald Trump is still angry at Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for a perceived slight during a speech by the Canadian Prime Minister following the G-7 meeting.
Trump explained the situation Tuesday when asked about the G-7 gathering at a press conference in Singapore following his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un:
"When I got out to the plane, I think that Justin probably didn't know that Air Force One has about 20 televisions. And I see the television and he's giving a news conference about how he will not be pushed around by the United States and I say push him around? We just shook hands. It was very friendly. ... No, I have a good relationship with Justin Trudeau. I really did, other than he had a news conference, that he had because he assumed I was in an airplane and I wasn't watching. He learned. That's going to cost a lot of money for the people of Canada. He learned. You can't do that. You can't do that."
The comments dashed hopes that Trump had moved on from what he believed to be was a "dishonest" action by Trudeau. The ire directed at the prime minister by Trump and his advisors had confused some trade observers since the comments seemed to be just a reiteration of what the prime minister had said previously and not a personal insult.
Trudeau said after the G-7 meeting that the aluminum and steel tariffs imposed by the U.S. on Canada on national security grounds were insulting and that "Canadians are polite, we're reasonable, but we also will not be pushed around."
Trump then tweeted Saturday evening, "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."
The president also withdrew US support for a G-7 communique.
The president's staff then blasted Trudeau on Sunday with economic advisor Larry Kudlow accusing Canada of stabbing the US in the back. Trade adviser Peter Navarro told Fox News, "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."
"We are being taken advantage of by virtually every one of those countries," Trump said Tuesday of the G-7.
On Canada, Trump continued:
"We have a big trade deficit with Canada. ... It's either 17 but could actually be 100 billion. You know they put out a document, I don't know if you saw it. They didn't want me to see it, but we found it. Perhaps they were trying to show the power they have. It's close to $100 billion a year loss with Canada. They don't take our farm products - many of them."
It's unclear what additional action the US would take against Canada. The US at the end of May imposed tariffs of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum imports against Canada, Mexico and the European Union.
The US and Canada are in the middle of renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement along with Mexico. The US had a trade surplus with Canada of $8.4 billion last year, according to the Office of the United States Trade Representative. That figure adjusts to a $17.5 billion trade deficit when services are excluded, according to the USTR.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team