Tuesday, 23 October, 2018

Trump issues warning to trade partners over retaliatory tariffs

A pale mark lingers on the hand of US President Donald Trump after French President Emmanuel Macron shook it before a meeting on the sidelines of the G7 Summit in La Malbaie Quebec Trump blasts allies over trade: US is a “piggy bank that everybody’s robbing”
Steven Clarke | 10 June, 2018, 16:18

The government announced it would impose more than $16.6-billion in retaliatory tariffs, effective July 1, on a variety of USA goods.

Trump, who left the summit in La Malbaie early ahead of his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesaday, told reporters the USA needed protectionist tariffs because "we are like the piggy bank that everyone is robbing".

The prime minister said: 'Canadians are polite, we're reasonable, but we also will not be pushed around'.

The summit came during an ongoing trade dispute with China and served as a precursor to his unprecedented meeting with Kim, in which he has sought to extend a hand to the Asian autocrat who has long bedeviled the worldwide order.

Although Trump says his tariffs are necessary to protect USA industry and workers, Canada and the European Union have denounced them as illegal.

"You want a tariff-free - you want no barriers, and you want no subsidies", he said.

Following his announcement that the USA would be pulling its endorsement of the joint statement, Trump took another jab at Trudeau in a second tweet. "So we are going in with a really positive spirit".

In an "extraordinary" exchange between the leaders on Friday, Trump repeated a list of grievances about USA trade, mainly with the European Union and Canada, a French presidency official told reporters.

"He won't have that opportunity again", Trump said.

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Although, he said if he senses Kim is not serious, he won't prolong talks.

"Nevertheless, I do not consider that with a declaration all is obtained and it is obvious that we will have in the coming weeks, the next months, to continue to work", Macron told reporters.

Trump's bombshell announcement that he was backing out of the Group of Seven communique, made after he left the summit in Canada early, torpedoed what appeared to be a fragile consensus on the trade dispute between Washington and its top allies. "I think it would be an asset to have Russian Federation back in".

When Trump was pressed about the annexation of Crimea, he placed the blame on President Barack Obama for failing to handle the situation. Several countries have said publicly they will retaliate against the US' new steel and aluminium tariffs with increased tariffs of their own. "I may have had a much different attitude".

Saturday's picture was not the first awkward moment between Trump and Merkel, who makes no secret of her disagreement with the American leader's approach on trade, his rejection of the deal to limit Iran's nuclear program and his decision to take the United States out of the global Paris deal to fight climate change. The U.S. president delivered a rambling statement before taking questions from journalists. "We win that war 1,000 times out of 1,000".

But Trump's gambit, which his economic adviser Larry Kudlow told reporters amounted to a "free trade proclamation", called the other leaders' bluff - if they're so opposed to his new tariffs, he suggested, why not eliminate all tariffs?

Leading up to the meetings, Trump, Trudeau and French President Emmanuel Macron had suggested the potential for a tough tone, though they were cordial in face-to-face meetings.

Trump headed into the Group of Seven talks in Canada having picked fights with some of his biggest allies, who vowed to confront him about new USA tariffs on steel and aluminium.

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