Donald Trump hits back at Trudeau and Macron's criticism of trade tariffs

Donald Trump hits back at Trudeau and Macron's criticism of trade tariffs

Donald Trump and Justin Trudeau in their meeting last October. Image: Getty

Friday, June 8, 2018

US president Donald Trump has sharply criticised his Canadian and French counterparts over their critiques of his trade policies, and plans an early exit from the annual G7 meeting of industrialised nations in Quebec.

Mr Trump will leave on Saturday morning to head to Singapore for his highly-anticipated summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un - meaning he'll miss the part of the event dedicated to climate change.

The White House announced the US leader's travel plans after French president Emmanuel Macron and Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau signalled they will use the event to take a stance against new US tariffs on steel and aluminium imports.

At a joint press conference, Mr Macron stressed: "A trade war doesn't spare anyone. It will start first of all to hurt US workers."

Mr Trudeau said: "We are going to defend our industries and our workers", and added that the tariffs could harm Canadian as well as American workers.

"If I can get the president to actually realise that what he's doing is counter-productive for his own goals as well, perhaps we can move forward in a smarter way," he said.

Read more: Theresa May will not hold a formal meeting with Trump at G7 summit

As tempers frayed, Mr Trump had a ready retort, writing on Twitter: "Please tell Prime Minister Trudeau and President Macron that they are charging the U.S. massive tariffs and create non-monetary barriers.

"The EU trade surplus with the U.S. is 151 Billion (dollars), and Canada keeps our farmers and others out. Look forward to seeing them tomorrow."

Later, Mr Trump also tweeted: "Prime Minister Trudeau is being so indignant, bringing up the relationship that the U.S. and Canada had over the many years and all sorts of other things...but he doesn't bring up the fact that they charge us up to 300% on dairy - hurting our Farmers, killing our Agriculture!"

A few hours later, he added: "Take down your tariffs & barriers or we will more than match you!"

Mr Trump is set to hold a series of group and one-on-one meetings, including with Mr Trudeau and Mr Macron.

His angry rebuttals come just weeks after Macron visited the White House - in April, Trump held a state dinner for the French president and the pair were pictured looking tactile and friendly.