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domingo, 10 de junio de 2018

‘Dishonest and Weak’: Trump Slams Trudeau’s Pathetic G-7 Performance

When Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau returned home to Ottawa from Charlevoix, Quebec, fresh from the rarefied environs of the G-7 economic summit, it was no more handshakes and copacetic photographs. No, instead, the bantamweight of 24 Sussex Drive insisted to the world that Canada would not be “pushed around.”

And within hours, it essentially was: President Donald Trump confirmed he was pulling out of the final statement of the G-7, citing a “dishonest and weak” news conference by Trudeau in which the Canadian leader announced retaliatory economic measures in response to Trump tariffs on some Canadian products.

Trudeau had been all smiles during the event, which might have led one to believe that things were somewhat close to being worked out on the tariff issue. So, what did he do more or less the moment that he returned to the Canadian capital? Announce more tariffs.

Trudeau said at a news conference that “it would be with regret but it would be with absolute clarity and firmness that we move forward with retaliatory measures on July 1, applying equivalent tariffs to the ones that the Americans have unjustly applied to us.”

“Canadians, we’re polite, we’re reasonable, but we also will not be pushed around,” he added.

He’s got politeness jokes. However, President Trump wasn’t terribly impressed with them and promptly withdrew from the G-7 statement over Trudeau’s presser

“Based on Justin’s false statements at his news conference, and the fact that Canada is charging massive Tariffs to our U.S. farmers, workers and companies, I have instructed our U.S. Reps not to endorse the Communique as we look at Tariffs on automobiles flooding the U.S. Market!” Trump tweeted.

He also pointed out that Trudeau was missing the critical issue at play here — namely, Canada’s extreme protectionism on agriculture.

“PM Justin Trudeau of Canada acted so meek and mild during our (G7) meetings only to give a news conference after I left saying that, ‘US Tariffs were kind of insulting’ and he ‘will not be pushed around,’” Trump added.

“Very dishonest & weak. Our Tariffs are in response to his of 270% on dairy!”

This is, indeed, the big problem for Canadians: The fact that they’re very big on the idea of putting tariffs on other countries while wholeheartedly rejecting that tariffs ought to be placed on their businesses.

Free trade is, of course, the beau ideal of commerce — provided that it’s free and fair trade. When it comes to a great number of our trading partners, however, the United States has historically been too willing to settle for free and unfair, and Trump is changing that.
The G-7 statement had seemed like a difficult thing to arrive at, particularly given that Trump made it clear tariffs would be one of the key stumbling blocks to any sort of unified declaration. However, it was announced Saturday — by Trudeau, in fact — that the nations had reached “consensus language” on a statement.

Two of the sections in the statement deal specifically with trade: one says that “free, fair, and mutually beneficial trade and investment, while creating reciprocal benefits, are key engines for growth and job creation” while another pledges partners to “work together to enforce existing international rules and develop new rules where needed, to foster a truly level playing field, addressing in particular non-market oriented policies and practices.”

If Canada’s going to have its leader smile at the G-7 and then go home to attack the president, in what way can the current administration reach a consensus with its government? This isn’t about taking your ball and going home out of spite. Rather, it’s pointing out that the other people playing the game aren’t playing by the rules they set out mere hours beforehand.

Ottawa ought to pledge itself to a serious discussion about tariffs, not just cracking “oh, we’re polite, eh” while apparently turning their back on what they’d pledged themselves to just hours earlier.

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