Donald Trump’s trade adviser apologises for insulting Justin Trudeau

13 Juin, 2018, 15:32 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Donald Trump’s trade adviser apologises for insulting Justin Trudeau

Canadians are "polite, we're reasonable, but we also will not be pushed around", Trudeau said.

He made the apology - something that former USA ambassador to Canada Bruce Heyman, among others, was demanding that he do - during a Wall Street Journal event today in Washington. The vehicle tariffs could apply to all countries, including Nafta partners Mexico and Canada, the two biggest exporters of autos to the U.S.

Donald Trump's heightened attacks on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are raising concerns that he might follow through on threats to impose auto tariffs, a move that could devastate the vehicle industry in Canada and lead to higher US prices.

The move has been roundly criticised by Canada and the European Union, leading to heightened tensions at last week's summit of the Group of Seven wealthy democracies - just before Mr Trump left for Singapore and a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Trump called Trudeau "dishonest" and "weak" in tweets following the summit on Saturday.

The president's surrogates also piled on during Sunday U.S. news shows, with Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro saying there was "a special place in hell" for Trudeau. "I used language that was inappropriate", he said.

People speculated that the Trump administration wanted to make an example of Trudeau as a warning to Kim Jong-un about post-summit reversals, which is a unusual way to treat an ally and key trading partner if true.

"I think we are all sitting with bated breath hoping that cooler heads prevail, but most of us believe there's an equal chance that they won't", said Dennis DesRosiers, president of DesRosiers Automotive Consultants Inc.in Richmond Hill, Ontario. "But you know, Trump threatened tariffs on steel and aluminum, and everybody said, 'Oh, well, you know he's not going to hit Canada, we're not a security threat.' And lo and behold, look what happened".

"If the United States decides to apply new tariffs, Canada will be ready", the official said.

In Vermont, where Trump is particularly unpopular, a few choice words from the president won't keep people away from a popular weekend getaway on either side of the border, says one keen observer. "Nevertheless, it remains the job of the government to find ways of working constructively with this chaotic man, while vigorously defending Canadian interests". There was no immediate response to the apology from Trudeau.

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Lawmakers approved a motion that rejected "disparaging ad hominem statements by USA officials which do a disservice to bilateral relations", Reuters reported. The motion was proposed by the opposition New Democratic Party, whose legislative chief Ruth Ellen Brosseau added: "While Canadians stand together, President Trump stands alone".

One particular source of his ire recently has been Canada's supply management system, which levels tariffs of up to 300 per cent on imported dairy products.

Trudeau's office responded with a statement that the prime minister had said nothing new. This prompted Trudeau to announce retaliatory measures on USA goods.

That's only if the US were to impose unilateral actions.

It's not clear what new costs to Canada Trump was referring to in Singapore.

The northern nation is trying to pivot away from the USA, but it's not easy.

Motor vehicles and parts were Canada's biggest export after energy products, representing about 16 per cent of the C$7.4 billion ($5.7 billion) in shipments over the first four months of this year.

"I think I've helped them".

Trudeau, meanwhile, can look back to his father's legacy for support. "And that's what bad-faith Justin Trudeau did with that stunt news conference".

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