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Last Updated : Jun 11, 2018 02:43 PM IST | Source: PTI

White House slams Canadian PM; accuses him of betrayal

US President Donald Trump has imposed a 25 per cent tariff on import of steel from Canada and another 15 per cent on aluminium using the "national security interest" provisions of the existing American laws.

The White House today launched a blistering attack on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, accusing him of betrayal for his actions during the recently-concluded G-7 summit in Quebec City.

US President Donald Trump has imposed a 25 per cent tariff on import of steel from Canada and another 15 per cent on aluminium using the "national security interest" provisions of the existing American laws.

Trudeau has vehemently opposed the imposition of tariff on US import of Canadian steel and aluminium and has threatened with retaliatory measures.

"He (Trudeau) was polarising. He really kind of stabbed us in the back. He did a great disservice to the whole (G-7)," White House Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow told CNN.

Trudeau, at a news conference at the conclusion of the G-7 summit, said that Canadians are polite, reasonable, but will not be pushed around.

"I have made it very clear to the President that it is not something we relish doing, but it is something that we absolutely will do. Canadians, we're polite, we're reasonable, but we also will not be pushed around," he said.

Kudlow alleged that the Canadian Prime Minister used the G-7 summit for his domestic political consumption.

"It was betrayal," the top White House official said.

Peter Navarro, top White House trade advisor, echoed Kudlow during an interview on Fox news.

"There's a special place in hell for any foreign leader that engages in bad faith diplomacy with President Donald J Trump and then tries to stab him in the back on the way out the door," he said.

"That's what bad faith Justin Trudeau did with that stunt press conference. That's what week, dishonest Justin Trudeau did. And that comes right from Air Force One. I'll tell you this to my friends in Canada that was one of the worst political miscalculations of a Canadian leader in modern Canadian history. All Justin Trudeau had to do was take the win," Navarro said.

President Trump did the courtesy to Trudeau to travel up to Quebec for that summit. He had other things, bigger things on his plate in Singapore, he said.

He did him a favour and he was even willing to sign that socialist communique. And what did Trudeau do as soon as the plane took off from Canadian airspace, Trudeau stuck our president in the back. That will not stand, Navarro said.

"As far as this retaliation goes, the American press needs to do a much better job of what the Canadians are getting ready to do because it's nothing short of an attack on our political system and it's nothing short of Canada trying to raise its high protectionist barriers even higher on things like maple syrup and other goods," he said.

The Canadians, he alleged, are totally bungling their trade relationships and it's due to their leadership.

"Take NAFTA for example. We'd have a deal, we'd have a great deal with NAFTA, by now, if the Canadians would spend more time at the bargaining table and less time lobbying Capitol Hill and our press and state governments here, they are just simply not playing fair. Dishonest. Weak," Navarro alleged.

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is a deal signed by Canada, Mexico, and the US, creating a trilateral trade bloc in North America. Currently the US, Canada and Mexico are renegotiating the NAFTA agreement which Trump had earlier deemed to be unfair for the US.
First Published on Jun 11, 2018 10:00 am
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