The Trudeau government has told President Donald Trump he needs to get rid of the punishing USA tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum if there is any hope of successfully renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement. Later, the document was made public.
Besides the escalated risk of a trade war, Trump's blistering personal attack on Trudeau poses domestic economic and political risks for the Canadian prime minister, who has stuck to a conciliatory stance in the face of USA threats on NAFTA and other bilateral trade cases.
Nafta was a key topic when Trump held a bilateral meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday, with Trump later saying they had a "very, very good meeting on Nafta".
The President warned Canada and Europe to back off their threats to hit back with retaliatory trade measures on July 1 if the US does not lift the steel and aluminum levies.
The EU and Canada have also filed cases against the United States with the World Trade Organisation. He says "we're not looking to play games".
"His message from Quebec to Singapore is that he is going to meld the industrial democracies to his will - and bring back Russian Federation", said Steve Bannon, Trump's former campaign and White House adviser.
"We're like the piggy bank that everybody's robbing, and it ends", Mr. Trump told reporters at a press conference at the end of the meeting, just before he jets off to Singapore to meet with North Korea's leader.
- Dairy: Trump has lashed out at Canada's dairy exports repeatedly in the past few days, complaining that the US pays prices that are 270 per cent higher than they should be because of unfair trade practices.
The G7 summit came amid rising tensions between the United States and other member nations - Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan - over Trump's recent steel and aluminum tariffs.
Trump called the summit a "one time shot" for Kim, but expressed optimism at the beginning of talks with the North Korean regime.
Trump's presidency has been clouded by a federal investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, and possible collusion by his campaign.
As for the prospect of new trade deals touted by the Trump administration, Alden says they are a pipe dream.
At issue, Trudeau defending his country's retaliatory tariffs on the U.S. "And we charge nothing", he said.
Trump, who angered Washington's top allies last week when he imposed tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from Canada, the European Union and Mexico, issued a broad indictment of global trade, with swipes at the G7 and India. "You got to go tariff free", he argued. Free trade is "the way it should be", he said. "And then we leave and Trudeau pulls this sophomoric, political stunt for domestic consumption".
Earlier on Saturday, Trump told reporters it would be "very easy" to make the case for tariffs on auto imports using the rationale that they threaten national security.
In retrospect, the consensus on ground had appeared shaky from the outset, and even as Trump flew out it was clear that the summit had failed to heal the rift on trade. Macron said Thursday on Twitter, "The American President may not mind being isolated, but neither do we mind signing a 6 country agreement if need be".