Trump says Canadian leader Justin Trudeau 'learned' from trade comments

Blanche Robertson
June 13, 2018

Canada's House of Commons has unanimously condemned personal attacks on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau by US President Donald Trump and his aides as the famously polite nation simmered over the weekend broadsides by its US ally.

Describing the USA tariffs on European steel and aluminium as "unjustified", she left no doubt that EU nations would impose counter-measures on U.S. goods in response but cautioned against tit-for-tat retaliation which might lead to a trade war.

The second issue was United States' insistence on "reciprocal" trade, the source said.

Trump said Trudeau's promise not to back down from U.S. tariffs is "going to cost a lot of money for the people of Canada".

The tit-for-tat dispute over US metals tariffs followed more than a year of tense and so far unsuccessful negotiations to renew NAFTA and a long and failed charm offensive by Trudeau and top Canadian officials to avoid Trump's trade ire.

Mr Trudeau, who had said at the news conference that Canada would retaliate over new USA tariffs, did not respond to questions about Mr Trump when the prime minister arrived at a Quebec City hotel on Sunday for meetings with other world leaders. In the prime minister's absence the House unanimously adopted a motion to stand against US tariffs and tirades.

The verbal volleys by Navarro and Trump's top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, picked up where Trump had left off on Saturday evening.

Navarro said Trump "did the courtesy to Justin Trudeau to travel up to Quebec for that summit".

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While en route to a Singapore summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un after leaving the G7 meetings early, Trump attacked Trudeau's press conference with a series of tweets in which he called the Canadian Prime Minister "meek and mild" and "very dishonest and weak".

Kudlow said the president won't "let a Canadian prime minister push him around".

Unbowed, Trump tweeted anew Monday morning from Singapore, repeating his criticism of US trade policies with Canada - he also took aim at Germany - in a multitweet rant that went beyond 200 words all told.

With politicians on both sides of the House supporting retaliation against penalties on Canadian steel and aluminum, John Ries, a professor with UBC's Sauder School of Business, says that might lead to US President Donald Trump backing off.

Trump has consistently railed against what he claims are unfair trade practices by some of America's biggest trade partners, including Canada.

"I think it's a very fair question", he said.

"According to a Canada release, they make nearly 100 Billion Dollars in Trade with United States (guess they were bragging and got caught!)".

"What I saw Prime Minister Trudeau say was, I thought, fairly benign and certainly didn't warrant any attack". "I have a good relationship with Justin Trudeau", he said. Mulroney and Trump are also known to have been friends.

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