Well, as they say, never a dull moment. We have come from fire and fury to little rocket man insults and competing claims over the size of their nuclear buttons on one side of the Pacific Ocean, to the leader of the free world broadsiding North America’s oldest and closest friends at this weekend’s G7 summit on the other. Donald Trump pulled no punches over the weekend at the G7 in Canada, accusing Justin Trudeau, the Canadian Prime Minister of making ‘false statements’ in addition to refusing to sign the joint communique which states that the G7 ‘acknowledge free, fair, and mutually beneficial trade is a key engine for growth and investment, while creating reciprocal benefits, are key engines for growth and job creation’ as well as committing to the modernisation of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
As is now the norm with Trump, he took to social media to make his displeasure known. ‘Based on Justin's false statements at his news conference, and the fact that Canada is charging massive tariffs to our U.S. farmers, workers and companies, I have instructed our U.S. Reps not to endorse the Communique as we look at Tariffs on automobiles flooding the U.S. Market!’ he tweeted, before adding ‘PM Justin Trudeau of Canada acted so meek and mild during our @G7 meetings 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 and weak. Our tariffs are in response to his of 270% on dairy!’
At that news conference at the summit, Trudeau had told journalists that in response to the US administration's decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from Canada, its neighbour will move forward with retaliatory measures on the 1st July. ‘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 stated, adding ‘Canadians, we're polite, we're reasonable, but we also will not be pushed around’.
The Canadian prime minister's office did later respond to Trump’s accusations, saying there was nothing said at the summit that had not been said before, reiterating ‘We are focused on everything we accomplished here at the G7 summit. The Prime Minister said nothing he hasn't said before, both in public and in private conversations with the President’.
At least there seems to be one voice of reason on the US side in all this. James Comey, the former FBI Director, tweeted late on Saturday ‘Our national security relationship with Canada is vital and saves American lives. It was built over generations and is bigger than any person or dispute. This too shall pass’.