Macron and Trudeau vow to confront Trump on tariffs

The Mexican U.S. and Canadian flags

The French president took a firm stance against President Donald Trump's isolationist policies, as he spoke in Canada alongside Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

According to The New York Times, an internal report prepared by the White House Council of Economic Advisers showed that the tariffs would be detrimental to U.S. economic growth.

Trump announced in March that he was imposing tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum, but he temporarily granted a waiver to U.S allies like Canada, Mexico and the European Union, and also to China, as his administration said trade talks were continuing.

"A trade war doesn't spare anyone.

Maybe, but nobody is forever", he told a news conference flanked by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

"It is simply ridiculous to view any trade with Canada as a national security threat to the US", Mr Trudeau has said of the move.

"The president wants to go on the trip", Larry Kudlow, Trump's top economic adviser, said of the summit in Canada.

Despite the tensions with Trump, Macron put forward a strong front on Thursday, suggesting France and the other G-7 nations do not feel threatened by a nonaligned U.S.

Two sources in Ottawa said divisions between the United States and other G7 members were so great that senior officials in charge of each nation's preparations planned to hold an unusual additional meeting the night before the summit in a bid to find consensus.

There is no doubt, though, that Trudeau is upset that the US would invoke security concerns as justification for the tariffs.

Much of the Trump administration repeatedly argued that the tariffs will encourage other countries to lower their trade barriers on U.S. goods, thereby boosting the economy. In response, Trump quipped to Trudeau, "Didn't you guys burn down the White House?" referring to the War of 1812.

Trudeau chuckled at the question, characterizing the president's "little comment" as a joke.

According to historians, the arson was a retaliation for a US attack against the then-British colony of York, Ont., in what later became Toronto.

"It is laughable to say that Canada, France. can represent a threat to America's national security, as we are the best allies that the USA has had for a long time", Trudeau said.

"We will do what is necessary to protect the United States, its businesses and its workforce", he added.

That said, dictatorships such as Saudi Arabia have succeeded in flattering Trump and getting something in return - largely because they can offer him material rewards in addition to kind words. One of the largest reasons for Trump's reluctance is the host country, the report said. "The EU trade surplus with the U.S.is $151 Billion, and Canada keeps our farmers and others out".

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