Published: Thu, June 07, 2018
Money | By Ethel Goodwin

Trump Unites U.S. Allies-in Opposition to His Trade Policies

Trump Unites U.S. Allies-in Opposition to His Trade Policies

"I know we're going to have some very, very frank conversations quite clearly around the table", Trudeau told Global TV in an interview, adding he would convey Canada's displeasure over the metal tariffs personally when he met Trump in Quebec. President Trump has railed against the US' trade deficits and has placed a range of tariffs on imports from several countries - rivals and allies alike.

Trump responded by saying: "Didn't you guys burn down the White House?".

The Canadian prime minister has rejected a USA proposal to scrap the North American Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA, in favor of bilateral trade pacts.

Canada has also rejected "for now" a proposal floated by the White House for new separate U.S. trade deals with Canada and Mexico.

That move unleashed fury in the Group of Seven industrialized nations and prompted quick retaliation from Canada and Mexico and a promise from the European Union to do so as well, unnerving investors who fear a trade war that could derail the global economy.

Trump economic advisor Larry Kudlow, however, framed the trade spat as a "family quarrel" which he said would be "worked out", while adding that his administration "will do what is necessary to protect the United States, its businesses and its workforce".

Ottawa is also frustrated with the slow-moving talks to update the North American Free Trade Agreement, the 1994 agreement between Canada, the United States and Mexico.

Officials from some of the U.S.'s closest allies said their level of interaction and coordination on tariff retaliation is exceptional.

On May 25, Trump and Trudeau had a dispute during a phone call regarding Washington's decision to impose steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada based on national security concerns, CNN reported, citing sources familiar with the conversation. The United States couldn't muster much interest in remembering the war; legislation in NY to plan events was vetoed in 2009, 2010 and 2011 because of tight finances and a $1.4 million price tag.

"Canada is a secure supplier of aluminum and steel to the USA defence industry, putting aluminum in American planes and steel in American tanks", Trudeau said last week. The same arguments are being made in Europe today, as European leaders fear weakened growth or even recessions if a trade war with Trump escalates, but continue to stress that the pressure from Washington will end up making them less dependent on the United States.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she expects "difficult discussions" at the summit in Quebec. European allies have urged Trump to reconsider.

"There will be frank and sometimes hard discussions around the G7 table, particularly with the USA president on tariffs", Trudeau told reporters.

The French presidency official said that if a final communique were issued, France would insist it mentioned the Paris accord on climate change that Trump withdrew from past year.

Ministers from Germany, France and Britain have already written to US officials urging them to shield European companies working in Iran from getting caught up in Washington's new sanctions on Tehran.

He went on to acknowledge the scheduled bilateral meeting between the two leaders at this week's G7 summit, a gathering that's widely expected to be a group effort in decrying Trump's trade tactics to his face and trying to convince him to reverse course.

Back in 1812, the roles between Britain and the United States were largely reversed.

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