Trade spat looms as Trump heads for hostile G7

Trade spat looms as Trump heads for hostile G7

Trade spat looms as Trump heads for hostile G7

Larry Kudlow, Trump's top economic adviser, tried to downplay the trade divisions during a press briefing on Wednesday.

In retaliation for the Trump administration announcing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Mexico and much of the rest of the world, Mexico Tuesday imposed a series of tariffs against USA exports to its market valued at $3 billion.

US stocks, apart from those of steel and aluminum producers, have fallen sharply in response to Trump's recent tariff announcements and other actions against trading partners.

He went on to acknowledge the scheduled bilateral meeting between the two leaders at this week's G7 summit, a gathering that's widely expected to be a group effort in decrying Trump's trade tactics to his face and trying to convince him to reverse course.

Mr Trudeau has described the USA claim that the tariff decision was taken on national security grounds as "insulting". "But I'm always hopeful on that point".

A senior administration official declined to discuss the specifics of Trump's phone call with Trudeau but acknowledged some of the President's conversations with his foreign counterparts on the subject of trade have been confrontational.

Trudeau was reportedly incredulous that Trump would impose the tariffs on Canada on national security grounds, to which Trump quipped "Didn't you guys burn down the White House?" in reference to the War of 1812.

Officials in the Prime Minister's Office would not provide details, other than to say it took place on May 25 - the day Trudeau has said he initially proposed a face-to-face meeting with Trump to try to finalize a new North American Free Trade Agreement. "I think we're really close to a deal there, but there are some of the revisions, such as the five-year sunset clause, were the most hard to negotiate".

"A trade war doesn't spare anyone", he said. Bob Corker, the official said.

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"There will be no world hegemony if we know how to organise ourselves". What about The War of 1812?

He said Canadian and American troops, who had "fought and died together on the beaches of World War II and the mountains of Afghanistan and have stood shoulder-to-shoulder in some of the most hard places in the world, that are always there for each other, somehow - this is insulting to them". Tariffs, he added, are simply one more tool in the president's toolbox when it comes to repairing it. "We are going to defend our industries and our workers", he said. "People should realize how serious he is in that respect", said Kudlow.

Trump also railed against French President Emmanuel Macron in a separate tweet.

"The six countries of the G7 without the United States, are a bigger market taken together than the American market", Macron said.

Canada's non-American G7 partners don't envy Trudeau; some are downright sympathetic.

One source with knowledge of the matter said that Italy wanted to "create as much space as possible to continue the dialogue with the U.S.", noting that new Italian Prime Minister Guiseppe Conte, a political novice, would be treading carefully in Canada because he "needs to see the dynamics of the group".

"I didn't pay much attention to the quip; I focused on the message I was putting out, which was that it is inconceivable - and quite frankly insulting - that the United States considers Canada to be a threat to national security".

Trump is no fan of multilateralism.

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