Trump Threatens To End Trade With United States' Closest Allies

Jenny Cheng  Business Insider

Jenny Cheng Business Insider

Christinne Muschi / Reuters U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the press as he leaves the G7 Summit in La Malbaie, Que. on Saturday.

Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland expressed outrage that Trump had invoked a national security justification for his global tariff on steel and aluminum imports, even those from close United States allies.

'I really believe that he's going to do something positive for his people, for himself, for his family, ' he said. But economists disagree about his claims of a trade deficit with Canada, and many say it's misguided.

Trump's tactic of lashing out at reporters and labeling unflattering stories he dislikes as "fake" has been repeated by some world leaders, especially from autocratic and dictatorial governments. He has also refused to condemn the Russian strongman over the Kremlin's interference in the USA presidential election, at one point suggesting he trusts Putin's denials of wrongdoing over the findings of his own intelligence agencies. "Fake news CNN", Trump said.

Despite this, he insisted his relationship with Western leaders was at a "10".

The announcements come as Mr. Trump seeks to make headway on the deep US trade deficit, saying the country has been taken advantage of for too long, and he is fighting back.

"Please tell Prime Minister Trudeau and President Macron that they are charging the US massive tariffs and create non-monetary barriers", Trump said Thursday on Twitter. Trump boasted that he had been Russia's "biggest nightmare", but that the country should have a seat at the negotiating table. Canada has been adamant it won't agree to such a clause.

Trudeau refused and NAFTA talks stalled.

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"Something happened a while ago where Russian Federation is no longer in", Trump said.

Trump created a distraction when he walked in late for Saturday's breakfast meeting during the Group of Seven summit of leading industrialized nations being held in Quebec.

Just before taking off from Charlevoix, Que., Trump called the Group of Seven summit "really tremendously successful" before launching into a tirade about how unfairly he believes the countries in the group have been treating the US, while complimenting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and taking a shot at a reporter from "fake news CNN" in the process. "There is no reason we should have large trade deficits with virtually every country of the world", he said. "We have no reason to believe there will be problems on those issues", the official said on condition of anonymity.

"If they retaliate, they're making a mistake", Trump said. He said he pushed them to consider removing every single tariff or trade barrier on American goods, and in return he would do the same for products from their countries.

He later said, "It's going to stop, or we'll stop trading with them". Mexico is also a member of Nafta. He reiterated his longstanding view that the USA has been taken advantage of in global trade, adding, "We're like the piggy bank that everybody's robbing and that ends".

Trump's administration last week ended a two-month exemption to steel and aluminum imports from Mexico, Canada and the European Union.

But a grinning Trump answered for him: "He's happy", he cracked.

Instead, Canada's expected to issue a chair's summary of the meeting.

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Trump is scheduled to address the USA news media at 10 a.m. EDT on Saturday. Trump said at the White House just before departing.

"In other words, let's say Canada, where ... the United States pays tremendous tariffs on dairy as an example - 270% - nobody knows that ... we don't want to pay anything". He is due to fly to Singapore to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, which he described as a "mission of peace".

"Looking forward to straightening out unfair Trade Deals with the G-7 countries".

Trump was seated between Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, and Christine Whitecross, a Canadian lieutenant general.

Despite the seriousness of the matter, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Donald Trump were all smiles ahead of their bilateral meeting at the G7 summit.

But details are scant so far, and clear differences are remaining.

The summit comes amid the imposition of United States steel and aluminum tariffs affecting all nations including Washington's NAFTA and European Union partners.

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