Trump asks if Canada burnt down White House in call with PM

Macron and Trump      Andrew Harnik  AP

Macron and Trump Andrew Harnik AP

The remarks are likely to create more cross-border economic uncertainty with the USA after Trump imposed stinging steel and aluminum tariffs on imports from Canada, Mexico and Europe.

Canada, Mexico and the United States have been holding talks on the two-decade old NAFTA since last August, negotiations spurred by US President Donald Trump's criticisms of the deal which he said was bad for his country.

French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau vowed on Thursday to confront U.S. President Donald Trump over his tariffs on steel and aluminum, which Macron called "unilateral and illegal".

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the leaders would air their unhappiness in what he called a polite cordial context and expressed optimism about the summit.

There was shock when the world's largest economy confirmed it was imposing the duties on the EU, Canada and Mexico from 1 June, as part of President Donald Trump's protectionist agenda aimed at saving U.S. jobs.

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One source asked by CNN whether the comment was meant as a joke replied: "To the degree one can ever take what is said as a joke".

His advisers have said he is trying to use the threat of tariffs as leverage to force other countries to lower barriers in a way that would allow more US imports.

Trudeau called it "inconceivable" that national security concerns could be a legitimate reason to impose the tariffs during a press conference last week and said it was "an affront" to Canada, whose soldiers have fought and died alongside Americans in several global conflicts. Trump said, according to CNN and the CBC.

Trudeau has publicly denounced the "national security" justification for the new tariffs.

"You say the U.S. President doesn't care at all".

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That plan fell through when the White House tried to insist that he agree to including a so-called "sunset clause" in the deal. In a January 2018 report prepared by the U.S.

"The president is not going to leave Nafta".

"President Trump is a trade reformer and I don't think people see it that way", Kudlow said.

Macron has, so far, taken a more conciliatory tone with Trump, whom he calls his "friend".

Mr Trump himself is reportedly unhappy at having to attend the G7, coming on the eve of his historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore.

"Hog, apple, potato and dairy farmers are among those suddenly facing a 10 or 20 percent tax hike on the exports they depend of for their livelihoods", she said in a statement.

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Ulrich Adam, director general of Spirits Europe, said: "The US and European Union spirits sectors are closely intertwined".

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