President Trump’s chief economic adviser accused Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of stabbing the U.S. and fellow G-7 negotiators in the back with “amateurish” verbal attacks during a domestic press conference.
Larry Kudlow said Mr. Trump negotiated in good faith with fellow global powers in Quebec.
But the president also felt he couldn’t be pushed around by the Canadian leader on the cusp of a major summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.
“He really kind of stabbed us in the back,” Mr. Kudlow told CNN’s State of the Union. “He did a great disservice to the whole G-7.”
Mr. Trudeau, along with other leaders of the G-7, have criticized Mr. Trump’s proposed tariffs on steel and aluminum to stop the allies from taking “advantage” of the U.S.
After Mr. Trump’s departure from the G-7, Mr. Trudeau held a press conference Saturday stating that all of the member nations, including the U.S., had signed a communique pledging to lower tariffs and other trade barriers.
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But Mr. Trudeau also said it was “kind of insulting” the U.S. had imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum under the guise of national security, noting Canadians stood “shoulder to shoulder” with Americans in overseas wars.
“Canadians, we’re polite, we’re reasonable, but we also will not be pushed around,” Mr. Trudeau said.
On Twitter, Mr. Trump called his remarks “very dishonest and weak,” citing Canada’s imposition of tariffs on dairy products. He instructed U.S. representatives not to sign the communique from the summit, raising new questions about Mr. Trump’s strained relationship with leaders of historic allies.
Mr. Kudlow said Mr. Trudeau “busted up” the G-7 summit with his remarks — even if they were designed for domestic consumption in Canada, and though Mr. Trump is known for making strident comments in other settings.
He said the comments were a “betrayal” and “sophomoric.”
“We did, in good faith. I personally negotiated with Prime Minister Trudeau,” Mr. Kudlow said. “The nonfactual part of this is they have enormous tariffs.”
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat, said it’s one thing for Mr. Trump to get angry, but quite another to ditch the agreement.
“I understand the president was upset,” Mr. Feinstein told CNN. “But to walk away from our allies was a big mistake.”
• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at email@example.com.
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