Macron and Trudeau vow to confront Trump on tariffs

The Mexican U.S. and Canadian flags

The Mexican U.S. and Canadian flags

During a meeting with the Trump administration's top economic officials Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin advised President Donald Trump against imposing tariffs on Canada, ABC News reported Tuesday. Canada vowed to hit the USA with almost $17 billion worth of tariffs on various goods from the US, such as toilet paper and maple syrup, and the European Union announced planned duties as well.

Last week, the Trump administration unveiled punishing tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum from the EU, Canada and Japan, among others.

"A trade war doesn't spare anyone", he said.

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives at a news conference in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, May 31, 2018.

Kudlow also insisted that the U.S. relationship with Canada, in particular, was still "very good".

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In a statement from Elysee Palace ahead of the call , Macron said the tariff decision was "illegal" and "a mistake on many points".

Reporters pressed the two leaders - who have until now adopted a cordial approach to relations with Trump - if it was time to change tack.

The anger and frustration with the Trump administration from key USA allies was abundant on Thursday, with Macron suggesting that the G-7's six other members would forge a path ahead at the summit without the U.S. But I've always been very firm on Canada's interests and our values as well.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wants to ensure that the US puts his nation's security concerns front and center as talks with Kim Jong Un move forward. "We are going to defend our industries and our workers", he said.

Kudlow played down any conflict, saying he had "no doubt the United States and Canada will remain firm friends and allies whatever short-term disagreements may occur".

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Trump's comments were his latest attacking key USA allies ahead of the Group of Seven summit in Charlevoix, Quebec, which is set to begin on Friday.

The United States is reportedly preparing to unleash another round of tariffs on Canada as retribution for its Can$16.6 billion (US$12.9 billion) in tariffs on USA goods.

"I didn't pay much attention to the quip; I focused on the message I was putting out, which was that it is inconceivable - and quite frankly insulting - that the United States considers Canada to be a threat to national security".

According to The Washington Post, Trump has privately discussed sending Vice President Mike Pence instead. Soldiers reportedly sat down to eat a meal made of leftover food from the White House scullery using White House dishes and silver before ransacking the presidential mansion and setting it ablaze.

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