Monday, 25 June, 2018


Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) Defends Canada as Trump Launches More Attacks

US signs G-7 declaration calling for reduction of tariffs after tense summit with allies 'Fair trade, fool trade', Trump vents anger on NATO allies, EU, Trudeau post-G7
Bennie Garza | 12 June, 2018, 08:01

This past weekend saw U.S. President Donald Trump lash out at Canada, promising even more tariffs while one of his top advisers claimed Trudeau tried "to stab (Trump) in the back" through bad-faith diplomacy.

When Trump's tweets withdrawing support from the G7 statement hit on Saturday, the prime minister's office said Trudeau had not said anything in his closing news conference he has not said to Trump before.

Trump's tirades came on Saturday after a tense G7 summit in Quebec, where Trudeau at a summit-ending news conference criticized the president's tariff threats.

"As an American, I hate this", Bruce Heyman, who was USA ambassador to Canada from 2014 to 2017, told CBC's On the Money. The dispute weighed on the Canadian dollar on Monday. Canada had previously been given a temporary exemption from the steel and aluminum tariffs, but Trump announced at the end of May that its exemption would end. But Canada would face long odds winning a trade war against a country 10 times its size economically and which takes the majority of its exports. He said Canada would not be pushed around, which it won't.

Though the G-7 managed to reach an agreement basic principles regarding trade, relations between with the United States and the other members, particularly Canada, remained strained.

"I can't believe this has to be said, but Justin Trudeau obviously didn't have a "fake eyebrow" falling off during his press conference with Emmanuel Macron", the reporter tweeted.

Canada's limited options mean "there is no magical Plan B", said University of Ottawa global affairs professor Patrick Leblond.

In a tweet posted Saturday evening, Trump said his decision to rescind support for the statement was based on "false statements" made by Trudeau during a press conference he gave, as well as "the fact that Canada is charging massive Tariffs" on USA companies.

"This has to be a political play".

Trudeau: "The president will continue to say what he says at various occasions".

Trump's needless attack on Trudeau was not a show of strength, as Kudlow and the bootlickers insist. "But we need to avoid a continued tit-for-tat escalation".

Lawmakers gave unanimous consent for a motion backing Canadian steel and aluminum, hit by USA tariffs, as well as the supply management system that supports key agriculture sectors, and gave a standing ovation for the government's response to the Trump administration's verbal attacks on Trudeau.

At a rare solo news conference before heading to Asia, Trump said he pressed for the G-7 countries to eliminate all tariffs, trade barriers and subsidies in their trading practices.

Joining that view was Nicholas Burns, a former USA undersecretary of state under President George W. Bush, who called Canada "the best neighbor we could have".

In response to the initial tweets critical of her country and prime minister, Canada's foreign minister, Chrystia Freeland, said her nation "does not conduct its diplomacy through ad hominem attacks".

One new reason for optimism in Ottawa is a new-found strength in numbers.

By any reasonable measure, the administration's actions were part of a complete scorched-earth approach that was unbalanced and irrational and will only worsen an already frayed relationship with Canada.

The United States is Canada's single biggest trade partner, with two-way exchanges of goods and services totalling $673.9 billion in 2017, and Washington enjoys a $8.4 billion surplus.

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