French President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday no leader was forever, suggesting a more confrontational attitude towards U.S. President Donald Trump as leaders from the Group of Seven countries prepare to clash on trade at a summit in Canada.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (R) is greeted by U.S. President Donald Trump prior to holdiing talks at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 13, 2017.
"The U.S. decision to apply tariffs on aluminium and steel to all G7 partners for national security reasons has left us with no other option but to recourse to launching a formal complaint at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and to introduce safeguarding and rebalancing measures", the official said.
Last month, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said the current NAFTA is a seriously flawed trade deal, and the Trump Administration is committed to getting the best possible trade agreement for all Americans.
In response to the Trump administration's 25% tariff on steel and 10% on aluminum, Trudeau intends to hit the USA with his own 25% steel tariff as well as a 10% tariff on consumer goods from the U.S.
Trump, who has vowed to protect USA industry and workers from what he describes as unfair worldwide competition as part of an "America First" agenda, is due to hold bilateral meetings with Trudeau and French President Emmanuel Macron during the summit, Kudlow said.
Trudeau was angered Trump utilized the rarely invoked "national security" provision to justify the tariffs, and in doing so was alluding that Canada was a threat to US national security.
"Within the context of the rights that the existing accord gives us, we are answering", Guajardo said.
The move followed failed attempts to settle what the administration said are national security concerns about the foreign-made metals.
Trudeau is seen as the best bet to build a bridge between Trump and the rest of the G7 because his government has been able to forge deep links with the USA administration and across the various levels of American politics and business, the official said.
Macron took his metaphor further, explaining that "in Paris we're not in the habit of commenting on how it went-if it's hot, if it's cold, if it's warm, if it's awful".
Macron threatened to exclude the United States from the joint statement issued every year at the end of the G7 summit, part of an global pushback against Trump efforts to change trade rules.
"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.
Macron had so far taken a more conciliatory tone with Trump, whom he calls his "friend".
US stocks, apart from those of steel and aluminum producers, have fallen sharply in response to Trump's recent tariff announcements and other actions against trading partners.
"We also want to work together on the enforcement of the existing worldwide rules and speeding up the development of a new set of guidelines for government-supported export credit".
Trump will arrive in Canada on Friday, on the way to Singapore where he hopes to strike a historic nuclear deal with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
"We may have tactical disagreements, but he has always said - and I agree - tariffs are a tool in that effort".
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