Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday June 13, 2018
Trump says he’ll punish ‘the people of Canada’ because of Trudeau’s news conference
Escalating his attack on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, U.S. President Donald Trump is now pledging to punish “the people of Canada” economically because of the post-G7 news conference in which Trudeau criticized Trump’s tariffs.
“That’s going to cost a lot of money for the people of Canada. He learned. You can’t do that. You can’t do that,” Trump said Tuesday in Singapore after meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.
Trump repeated the vague threat in an interview with ABC.
“I actually like Justin, you know, I think he’s good, I like him, but he shouldn’t have done that. That was a mistake. That’s going to cost him a lot of money,” Trump said.
Canadian leaders responded with restraint. Trudeau briefly addressed the latest barb on his way into Tuesday morning’s cabinet meeting on Parliament Hill.
“Obviously we support the continuing efforts by the president on North Korea. We look forward to looking at the details of the agreement. On his comments, as I said, I’m going to stay focused on defending jobs for Canadians and supporting Canadian interests,” Trudeau said.
This is the first time Trump has threatened to take out his frustration with Trudeau on the Canadian people.
The threat comes as the two countries attempt to negotiate a new North American Free Trade Agreement and as Trudeau both seeks an exemption from Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs and attempts to avoid the automotive tariffs Trump is now floating.
Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said Tuesday that the government is “prepared for any eventuality” on the possibility of auto tariffs, and that she and Trudeau raised the issue with Trump and other American officials during last weekend’s G7 summit in Quebec. She pointed to Canada’s planned response to the steel and aluminum tariffs — responding duties on a range of U.S. imports worth more than $16 billion — as evidence the government is prepared to be “absolutely resolute” in defending the national interest as trade talks continue.
“From day one, we have said that we expected moments of drama and that we would… keep calm and carry on throughout those moments of drama,” Freeland said. (Source: Toronto Star)