On Saturday, President Donald Trump stunned the world during the G-7 meeting in Canada, not only by suggesting that Russia be called back into the fold, but also calling for an end to tariffs and subsidies, which have long marked international trade. In a Saturday news conference, lashed out at Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for what he said were his "false statements." On his way to Singapore, Trump called Trudeau's news conference "very dishonest and weak" in a tweet, and called Trudeau "indignant." Moreover, Trump said that he would not endorse the G7 final communique: a negotiated statement on shared priorities among the group. The president then departed to Singapore, where he will meet North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.

This followed statements Trudeau made, in which the youthful national leader said that Canada  will "move forward with retaliatory measures" on July 1 if the United States follows through with Trump’s announcement of imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum coming from Canada, the European Union and Mexico. "I have made it very clear to the President that it is not something we relish doing, but it something that we absolutely will do," Trudeau said. "Canadians, we're polite, we're reasonable, but we also will not be pushed around."

Trump’s chief economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, accused Trudeau on Sunday of backstabbing. Speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Kudlow said, "It was a betrayal."  Kudlow said on CNN's "State of the Union." Kudlow accused Trudeau of making comments designed for "domestic political consumption" and doing "a great disservice to the whole G7." Kudlow said, "He really kind of stabbed us in the back." Kudlow noted that he had good relations with the Canadian leader and spent time at the G7 summit negotiating in "good faith" with Trudeau and the other leaders. It was until Trudeau’s “sophomoric play,” Trudeau said, that the US had planned to sign the G7 communique.

On  "Fox News Sunday," Peter Navarro -- Trump’s trade adviser -- said "There's a special place in hell for any foreign leader that engages in bad faith diplomacy with President Donald J. Trump and then tries to stab him in the back on the way out the door.” He added, "And that's what bad faith Justin Trudeau did with that stunt press conference. That's what weak, dishonest Justin Trudeau did, and that comes right from Air Force One." Trump’s attendance at the summit was a “courtesy,” Navarro said, extended by the president, who had “bigger things on his plate in Singapore,” to Trudeau. "He did him a favor," Navarro said. "He was even willing to sign that socialist communique."

Canadian Foreign Minister Minister Chrystia Freeland said Trump's proposed tariffs on Canadian aluminum and steel "illegal and unjustified." She said, "Canada does not conduct its diplomacy through ad hominem attacks." Freeland added, “We don't think that that is a useful or productive way to do business, and perhaps we refrain particularly from ad hominem attacks when it comes to our relationship with our allies."

Trump’s economic adviser Kudlow said that the president’s summit meeting with Kim can explain why the White House exception to Trudeau’s comments. Kudlow vowed that Trump was "not going to let a Canadian prime minister push him around" ahead of the North Korea summit.
"He is not going to permit any show of weakness on the trip to negotiate with North Korea," Kudlow said.

Kudlow raked the G7 meetings over the coals for not exhibiting support for Trump’s summit meeting with "crazy nuclear tyrant" Kim. "They should have said to him, 'God speed, you are negotiating with the crazy nuclear tyrant in North Korea, and we are behind you,'" Kudlow said.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) tweeted his criticism: “To our allies: bipartisan majorities of Americans remain pro-free trade, pro-globalization and supportive of alliances based on 70 years of shared values." McCain wrot,. "Americans stand with you, even if our president doesn't." When Kudlow was asked about McCain’s criticism, he explained that the president advocated for policies with which McCain could agree. "President Trump is essentially doing what John McCain wanted him to do with respect to free trade," Kudlow said. "President Trump made it clear, time and again, in those two days outside of Quebec that he wants to reinstitute a process of free trade, no tariffs, no tariff barriers, no quotas and subsidies."
 

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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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