Trudeau, Macron brace for Trump ahead of G7 with meeting in Ottawa

Mae Love
June 8, 2018

"And we don't want there to be one", Macron said.

Trump's meeting with Trudeau could be particularly frosty, given the president's recent sharp criticism of Canadian trade policies and the anger in Ottawa over Washington's decision to justify its new tariffs on national security grounds.

European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker and EU president Donald Tusk will also attend, the French leader said. At that point, Macron said he believed he could persuade the USA remain in the Iran accord and forgo any tariffs against the European Union.

The two leaders also shared a "testy" phone call in late May, where Trump wrongfully asked if Canada was responsible for burning down the White House, referencing the War of 1812. The soldiers burned several federal buildings, including the U.S. Capitol and White House (then referred to as the Presidential Mansion).

A read-out from the French presidency of Macron's call with Trump revealed its ugly side, Reuters reported, adding that a shorter White House readout of the same call said that it focused on trade and immigration. "The president is at ease with all of these tough issues".

"I regard this as much like a family quarrel", Kudlow told a news conference in Washington, adding that he's confident the current tariff angst will soon blow over.

The US President has made it clear he sees the gathering of the leaders of the world's seven biggest economies as a distraction and has not arranged any bilateral meetings amid the continuing row over his decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium. European allies have urged Trump to reconsider. Trump has recently said he'd be interested in negotiating separate bilateral trade deals with Mexico and Canada instead of updating Nafta.

The French presidency says Macron told Trump during a call last week that new USA tariffs on European, Mexican and Canadian goods are illegal and a "mistake".

Trump has long called on Canada to stop protecting its dairy farmers from USA competition amid ongoing efforts to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

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China said after that round that all commitments made so far will be withdrawn if President Donald Trump carries out his threat to impose tariffs.

Grodzinski said she reacted to the CNN report with disbelief.

G7 finance ministers met last week and rebuked Washington over the tariffs, setting up a fight at the G7 summit.

Now that they've gotten everyone's attention, it would be good if the Trump administration's next move is constructive.

The increasingly critical tone from allies is a shift after leaders spent the past year and a half seeking to woo and cajole the American president.

"There will be disagreements on important issues and tariffs will certainly be one of them", the official told reporters. They tried to have close relations with him.

"We can't wage a trade war between friends", Emmanuel Macron said, adding that he the countries have to remain polite as the U.S. is an ally and "we need them".

Despite his "bromance" with Trump, he too let the US leader know he's not pleased with the new tariffs on steel and aluminum. Mr. Seko noted that Japan and the EU had issued a statement critical of the USA after he and EU Trade Commissioner Cecillia Malmström met in Paris last week.

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