Published: Tue, June 12, 2018
Finance | By Claude Patterson

The method in Trump's trade madness

The method in Trump's trade madness

May 25 - Trump reportedly quips to Trudeau, "Didn't you guys burn down the White House?" after Trudeau protests the US invoking "national security" as its reason for imposing tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum.

He was reacting to Trudeau's declaration that Canadians would "not be pushed around" and would hit back at punishing USA tariffs on metal imports with "equivalent tariffs".

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.

The latest Justin Trudeau meme is not about his love of pandas, his dance moves or his yoga prowess - it is instead about his bushy eyebrows.

The back-and-forth may represent mostly political posturing by the two leaders, but there could be very real economic consequences. In the course of discussion, a compromise was reached, with the final wording speaking about commitment to "modernize the WTO to make it more fair as soon as possible".

"Canadians.stood shoulder to shoulder with American soldiers in far-off lands in conflicts from the First World War onward", he said. "And so we are talking to many countries", Trump said.

Of the 32 states that count Canada as their biggest export destination, 20 voted for Trump in the 2016 election.

"The Prime Minister pressed the President to reconsider the USA tariffs imposed on Canadian steel and aluminum, and encouraged him to work with Canada to address unfair trade", a Canadian readout of their meeting reads.

The president seems to think raising USA tariffs will accomplish that end.

Trump said the U.S. pays tremendous tariffs on dairy products from Canada, for instance 270 per cent on some products.

In the meantime, Canada will continue to lobby the Trump administration for an exemption from the steel and aluminum tariffs.

As Trump flew from the summit with USA allies to a planned meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore, he lashed out at Trudeau for what he said were his "false statements" at a news conference and said the US would not endorse the G7 communique, a negotiated statement on shared priorities among the group. "I'm arguing Trudeau picked the fight", he said.

He also accused Trump of chipping away at his relationship with his Western allies by unilaterally pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal.

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 US companies.

Larry Kudlow said that USA had planned to sign joint G7 communique until Trudeau made certain statements countering US' economic interests.

President Trump did the courtesy to Trudeau to travel up to Quebec for that summit.

In his news conference, Mr Trudeau had spoken of retaliatory measures that Canada would take next month in response to Mr Trump's decision to slap tariffs on steel and aluminium imports.

Pompeo declined to comment on the specific remarks by Navarro.

- White House trade advisor Peter Navarro ups the ante, telling Fox News that there's a "special place in hell" for Trudeau, who he accuses of engaging in "bad-faith diplomacy" with Trump.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the media as he leaves the G7 Summit in the Charlevoix town of La Malbaie, Quebec, Canada, June 9, 2018.

He concluded: "Sorry, we can not let our friends, or enemies, take advantage of us on Trade anymore".

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