While both Macron and Trudeau have forged cordial relationships with Trump, they made it clear they would not be intimidated by the USA leader – especially in the face of United States tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Europe, Japan and Mexico.
Canada, a British colony at the time, did not become a nation until 1867.
CNN reported the President may have been joking, but the tariffs, justified on national security grounds by the Trump administration, have left Canadians furious.
But that all changed with the announcement of the United States levies, and Trudeau retaliated with Can$16.6 billion (US$12.9 billion) in tariffs on U.S. goods. Trump has accused Canada of ripping off the United States through unfair trade practices, and Canadian officials have said Trump is using inaccurate information to attack a US ally.
Asked about Trump’s remark that the Canadians burned down the White House, aides to the President and to Canada’s Trudeau declined to comment.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rejects a United States proposal to scrap the North American Free Trade Agreement in favor of a bilateral trade pact.
Japan is also expected to take a less confrontational approach than its G7 peers, while still quietly pressing its case on trade.
President Trump’s economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, on Tuesday revived a possibility that the president would attempt to replace Nafta with bilateral deals with Canada and Mexico – a move both nations oppose.
And a year ago, a group of former Council of Economic Advisers chairmen from both political parties wrote a letter to Mr. Trump urging him not to move ahead with steel tariffs, warning that “tariffs would raise costs for manufacturers, reduce employment in manufacturing, and increase prices for consumers”.
“There is a strong risk of overstating the importance of tariffs. many other things matter as well”, said Sean Doherty, head of worldwide trade and investment at the World Economic Forum.
Canada was not a country in 1812.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she expects “difficult discussions” at the summit in Quebec.
Speaking with reporters on the White House lawn, Trump said that Canda and Mexico were “very different countries” and that he “wouldn’t mind” separate trade deals.
Trump is scheduled to head to Charlevoix, Quebec, Canada for the G7 meeting on Friday to sit down with the leaders of the US’s closest allies.
Last June, U.S. formalized its withdrawal from the Paris climate change accord. “The impact on Canada and ultimately on workers in the USA won’t be a laughing matter”. “I’m always the optimist, I believe it can be worked out, and I’m always hopeful on that point”. “We can’t engage in a trade war against friends”, Mr. Macron said. Trump ended that temporary relief this month, seeking to pressure the other countries to cut new trade agreements with the U.S. Japan was never granted a waiver, despite Prime Mininster Shinzo Abe’s pleas.
Trump withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action initially signed between Iran and a group that included China, Russia, France, Germany, the U.K. and the United States. She and Macron recently made separate trips to Washington in failed bids to persuade the US president not to abandon the Iran nuclear agreement.