Quebec (Canada): US President Donald Trump has refused to sign a communique endorsed by the G-7, a move that threatens to snowball into a full-fledged trade war with his allies. Moments after Canada’s Justin Trudeau’s released the joint statement, noting it had been agreed to by all seven countries, Trump ripped through the façade of cordiality and accused the Canadian Prime Minister of making “false statements.”
“Based on Justin’s false statements at his news conference, and the fact that Canada has imposed massive tariffs on US farmers, workers and companies, I have instructed our US Reps not to endorse the communique,’’ Trump said in a Tweet. Trudeau had sought to play down personal clashes with Trump as he wrapped up the summit, calling the meeting “very successful” and saying he was “inspired by the discussion.” But he also pledged to retaliate against the United States tariffs on steel and aluminium products in solidarity with Canadian workers.
Trump, who apparently saw Trudeau’s news conference on television aboard Air Force One, was clearly enraged. “PM Justin Trudeau of Canada acted so meek and mild during our G7 meetings,” Trump said in a second tweet, “only to give a news conference after I left saying that, ‘US Tariffs were kind of insulting’ and he ‘will not be pushed around.’ Very dishonest & weak. Our Tariffs are in response to his of 270% on dairy!”
Trudeau’s office responded to the president’s Twitter barrage with a carefully worded statement. “We are focused on everything we accomplished here at the summit,” said a spokesman. “The prime minister said nothing he hasn’t said before — both in public, and in private conversations with the President.’’ Earlier in the day, before Trump left the summit, the US president brought up the dramatic prospect of completely eliminating tariffs on goods and services, even as he threatened to end all trade with them if they didn’t stop what he said were unfair trade practices.