The United States and Canada have swung sharply towards a diplomatic and trade crisis as top White House advisers lashed out at Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a day after US President Donald Trump called him "very dishonest and weak".
President Donald Trump went on a Twitterstorm after his arrival in Singapore bashing Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, kvetching about how much the United States pays towards North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, and calling out Germany for not paying its fair share.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau may have expected a lot to happen during the G-7 summit last weekend, but being condemned to an after-life in both hell and heaven probably wasn't on the list. Navarro later clarified that his comments were "the sentiment that was on Air Force One after that".
Kudlow, in an interview with CNN, argued that Trudeau's press conference criticisms of Trump's trade tariffs were inappropriate because of Trump's upcoming meeting with Kim Jong Un, and because they represented a shift from the more cooperative work that had been done to form the communique from the seven nations.
What did Trudeau and Trump say?
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But a war of words is as interesting to some segments of the press as any other kind of war, and the Sunday shows were filled with discussion of the Trump-Trudeau contretemps.
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow and trade adviser Peter Navarro drove the message home in an extraordinary assault on a close U.S. ally and neighbour. He did him a favor and he was even willing to sign that socialist communique.
Guy Verhofstadt, a former Belgian prime minister who as an MEP now co-ordinates Brexit talks for the European Parliament, mocked Mr Trump's temper and supposed closeness to Russian President Vladimir Putin in a series of tweets. "We're the closest partners in the world and you don't want to see a dispute over one particular issue poison everything". "So he holds a press conference - the president is barely out of there on the plane to North Korea, and he starts insulting us, he starts talking about the U.S.is insulting Canada", Kudlow said. If it is fake, I have little hope for Canada while he is in charge.
Trump may not be the free trader Kudlow describes him to be. "We make our commitments and keep them".
Trump has already announced tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada and Europe, which will impact major exporter Germany and he intends to hit another key sector for the German economy-auto exports.
The G7 groups the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Italy and Canada.
Merkel did not know Trump planned to do this and only found out he pulled out from the "arduously negotiated" declaration while she was returning from the summit.