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Trump, Trudeau Have 'Truly Warm' Friendship Despite Report Of Tense Call: Freeland

07 June 2018

Mexico announced tariffs on apples and other US farm goods Friday, shortly after President Donald Trump said he was placing tariffs of 25 percent and 15 percent, respectively, on steel and aluminum imports from several countries.

The problem with Trump's comments to Trudeau is that British troops burned down the White House during the War of 1812. The War of 1812 lasted from 1812 to 1815 while James Madison was president; numerous most famous battles occurred in Upstate New York.

"Didn't you guys burn down the White House?" he reportedly shot at Trudeau.

The new tariffs imposed by Mexico on steel imports are significant for the USA, the biggest supplier to the country, providing over a third of all steel goods imported into Mexico, a net importer of steel products. In a tweet the next morning, he mused about shutting Canadian wood products out of America.

Kudlow also pointedly denied a media report suggesting U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin tried to talk the president into extending an exemption for Canada from the steel tariffs, calling it "patently false". "It's a measure that Mexico has a right to in accordance with the trade agreement to compensate for the damage caused by the [United States'] tariffs, which they set under the alleged argument of national security", he said.

The apparent historical jest comes at a tense time for US-Canada relations. Trump is said to have shot back.

This catch-all theme of Canada's G7 presidency likely will involve discussion of several topics that came up previous year in Sicily, with North Korea's nukes moving up the priority list and the moribund Islamic State slipping down.

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Ildefonso Guajardo pointed out in an interview today that Mexico actually buys more USA steel than it exports to that country. The EU has threatened retaliatory duties on $3.3 billion of USA exports of products such as motorcycles , jeans and whiskey .

Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland questioned the Trump administration's move on CNN.

But that all changed with the announcement of the USA levies, and Trudeau retaliated with Can$16.6 billion (US$12.9 billion) in tariffs on United States goods.

Mexico and the US had total trade of about $557 billion in 2017, with a balance of $71 billion in the favor of Mexico.

Trump and U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, who hails from dairy-producing Wisconsin, are up in arms about Canada's system.

That would have been on the higher end of the 12 million to 15 million box range typically shipped to Mexico annually, said Todd Fryhover, president of the Washington Apple Commission.

Two-way trade is worth United States $600 billion annually but the USA has a deficit with Mexico of around US $65 billion, which Trump has argued is evidence of unfair trade between the two countries.

The National Economic Council Director said Trump is "the strongest trade reformer of the past 20 years", and is striving not only to protect American interests but to open up avenues of growth for American business and workers.

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But tensions with the current President are on a different level. "But this is a little unusual and unusually personal", he said.

President Trump is planning to fly to Canada on Friday.

The reference itself is not entirely historically accurate.

On August 24, 1814, British forces from Canada, which at the time was a colony of Great Britain, torched the White House in response to an American attack on Ontario.

Kudlow says Trump "hates multilateral" treaties.

"I have no doubt that the United States and Canada will remain firm friends and allies whatever short-term disagreements may occur", Kudlow said. "Six Canadians on the Caps roster and eight on Vegas".

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Trump, Trudeau Have 'Truly Warm' Friendship Despite Report Of Tense Call: Freeland