Published: Thu, June 14, 2018
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Gwynne Dyer: Donald Trump's trade delusion

Gwynne Dyer: Donald Trump's trade delusion

White House trade adviser Pete Navarro has apologised for sharp comments he made about Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, US media report.

"In conveying that message I used language that was inappropriate and basically lost the power of that message", Navarro said at the Wall Street Journal's CFO Network conference in Washington.

He had said there was a "special place in hell" for Mr Trudeau for going against US President Donald Trump.

Trump adviser Peter Navarro, meanwhile, said Tuesday he made a mistake when he said "there's a special place in hell" for Trudeau.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addresses a press conference at the conclusion of the G7 summit in La Malbaie, Quebec, June 9, 2018.

A Trump adviser had suggested Sunday that Trump saw Trudeau as trying to weaken his hand before the meeting with Kim.

President Donald Trump is still angry at Justin Trudeau for a perceived slight during a speech by the Canadian Prime Minister following the G-7 meeting.

Freeland touted Canada's retaliatory measures several times as she referred to Trump's tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum as "illegal and unjustified" and disavowed "ad hominem attacks". Further, President Donald Trump over the weekend and again on Monday targeted Canada's dairy supply management system, saying Canada's trade practices are harming US farmers.

Note that Navarro expressed regret only for the language, not the message, which is that Trudeau had better show President Trump more deference in the future. "Those were my words", Navarro added.

Trump says he watched that news conference on his way to Singapore, and was upset because he thought he and Trudeau had had a positive meeting in Charlevoix.

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"The United States has been taken advantage of for decades and decades", Trump said.

On Monday, MPs in the House of Commons approved a motion denouncing Trump's name-calling tirade and endorsing Trudeau's decision to stand his ground against USA tariffs and tweeted presidential threats.

In reality, the United States has a small surplus with Canada when goods and services are considered - $341.2 billion to Canada's $325.9 billion, according to 2016 statistics from the USA trade representative.

The decision to back out of the communique was "in large part" because of the upcoming North Korea summit, Kudlow said.

"The president, coming late, stands before the cameras and says, "Why don't we add Russian Federation to the group".

As for Trump's own response, he predicted that Trudeau's remarks are going to cost Canada "a lot of money".

"I actually like Justin, you know, I think he's good, I like him, but he shouldn't have done that", Trump said.

Even for a presidency as capricious as Trump's, his action marked a new blurring of lines between his personal feelings towards other leaders, and USA government policy.

He said, "Yes, absolutely".

Canada has announced retaliatory tariffs on $16.6-billion worth of USA goods, from steel and aluminum to orange juice, pickles and bourbon.

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