President Donald Trump slammed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as "meek and mild" on Saturday while declaring that he won't endorse a joint statement drafted by G7 leaders following their summit in Quebec.
Trump, who repeated that his tariffs are meant to protect USA industry and workers from unfair worldwide competition, told reporters he had suggested to the other G7 leaders that all trade barriers, including tariffs and subsidies, be eliminated.
Trudeau called the fact that the U.S. had based the tariffs on a national security reason "kind of insulting". Canada has promised retaliatory measures on July 1.
Trump arrived in Singapore on Sunday for the summit that could lay the groundwork for ending a nuclear stand-off between the old foes.
The announcement and Trump's planned tariffs have also put him on a collision course with Trudeau, leader of another key U.S. ally. Trump said in Washington as he was departing for the summit in Canada.
Trudeau has used the word "insulting" several times in the last couple of weeks to describe Trump's tariffs, as the prime minister has taken issue with the fact they're being applied on the premise that Canada poses a national security threat to the U.S.
The Prime Minister's Office responded by saying Trudeau has been consistent with Trump. He made first-name references to "Angela" and "Justin", and he repeatedly insisted he blamed previous United States leaders, not foreign ones, for what he sees as the global trade imbalance. But even those vested in Canadian trade are not expected to come to Trudeau's defense as long as the US economy is roaring.
"He is not going to permit any show of weakness on the eve of this trip to negotiate with North Korea, nor should he", Kudlow said on CNN. Now there is a question mark over that. "President Trump had no alternative, in my opinion". Trump has asked countries to end tariffs and trade barriers in his push for "fair and reciprocal" trade.More news: Fox News host apologizes for calling Trump, Kim 'two dictators'
European members were expressing solidarity with Trudeau the day after Trump's Twitter blast.
France is also standing by the G7 communique, a French presidency official said.
"This is of great concern to the G7".
"Whether you like it or not - and it may not me politically correct - but we have a world to run... It is impossible to predict what Trump will do next", said a senior G7 official on the summit outcome.
Trump dismissed Trudeau's comments as "false statements" before announcing the USA would withdraw from the communique. The gathering included the world's largest industrialized countries.
His comments threaten to undermine a grouping that has long acted as a defender of the global system of trade rules, and cause fresh friction with his northern neighbor as tensions percolate over efforts to redraw the North American Free Trade Agreement.