Published: Thu, June 07, 2018
Finance | By Jaime Brady

Trump sticks with hard line on trade as showdown looms at G7

Trump sticks with hard line on trade as showdown looms at G7

During a phone conversation on May 25, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asked Trump how tariffs against his nation's steel and aluminum could be justified in the name of USA national security, as the president claimed.

G7 summits usually end with the host nation issuing a final communique, but Canada may decide not to do so, preferring instead to release a statement by Trudeau summarizing the talks, said the sources.

CNN reported that, during a call with Trudeau, Trump referred to the burning of the White House during the War of 1812 after Trudeau asked about new U.S. tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum.

The U.S. trade deficit, however, fell to a seven-month low in April as exports rose to a record high, the U.S. Commerce Department reported on Wednesday.

A few days ago, Trudeau called the metal tariffs-25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum-"insulting".

Macron - who had formed an unlikely bond with Trump - declined to characterize his last conversation with the USA leader, but unnamed White House insiders told United States media it was "terrible".

Both Trudeau and Freeland have appeared on major American television networks in the past week to criticize the USA tariffs as "unacceptable" and "illegal". The member countries are: Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Germany, the United States and the Britain.

Kudlow played down any conflict, saying he had "no doubt the United States and Canada will remain firm friends and allies whatever short-term disagreements may occur".

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Canada and Mexico already have retaliated against a range of USA exports that include pork, bourbon and steel, and the European Union has promised to do so as well, raising the specter of a tit-for-tat escalation of protectionist measures.

In retaliation, all of them have either hit back with their own tariffs on U.S. goods or threatened to do so, as well as challenging the United States trade measure at the World Trade Organization. USA stocks were trading higher on Wednesday. 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. European allies have urged Trump to reconsider.

"I will of course try to speak to the USA president about the current problems that we have overall, in particular on Iran and on trade tariffs", Merkel told the Bundestag lower house of parliament during a question-and-answer session with lawmakers.

His private meeting with Macron, he said, "will be an opportunity to talk about the relations between Canada and France that are going very well, but also to highlight the challenges that we are going to have around the G7 table, and to make sure we are aligned". Will US allies be willing to be supportive in other contexts - say, dealing with Iran?

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

President Trump is trying to rewrite the terms and conditions of the global order specifically with regard to trade, security, and worldwide agreements and organisations, by "leveraging the dollar, market access, and military advantages", said Dr Inderjeet Parmar professor of professor of worldwide politics at the City, University of London.

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

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