10 June 2018   Leave a comment

US President Trump took the US signature off the joint communique issued by the G7 after he departed for Singapore to meet with Korean leader Kim Jong-un.  Mr. Trump’s reason for the act was that he considered the statement by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to be “dishonest” and a “betrayal”.  Here is the statement made by Prime Minister Trudeau:

JUSTIN TRUDEAU, CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER: We move forward with retaliatory measures on July 1st, applying equivalent tariffs to the ones that the Americans have unjustly applied to us. Canadians, we’re polite, we’re reasonable, but we also will not be pushed around.

On Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace interviewed the US Trade Representative, Peter Navarro and asked him about the US action.

WALLACE: Well, President Trump responded with this tweet while flying here on Air Force One to Singapore. Trudeau of Canada acted as meek — so meek and mild during our G-7 meetings only to give a news conference after I left. Very dishonest and weak.

Question, Mr. Navarro, is that really how we want to deal with our second biggest trading partner?

PETER NAVARRO, WHITE HOUSE TRADE ADVISER: Chris, there’s a special place in hell for any foreign leader that engages in bad faith diplomacy with President Donald J. Trump and then tries to stab him in the back on the way out the door. And that’s what bad faith Justin Trudeau did with that stunt press conference. That’s what week, dishonest Justin Trudeau did. And that comes right from Air Force One.

And I’ll tell you this, to my friends in Canada, that was one of the worst political miscalculations of a Canadian leader in modern Canadian history. All Justin Trudeau had to do was take the win. President Trump did the courtesy to Justin Trudeau to travel up to Quebec for that summit. He had other things, bigger things on his plate in Singapore, where you are now, Chris. He did him a favor and he was even willing to sign that socialist communique. And what did Trudeau did — do as soon as — as soon as the plane took off from Canadian airspace, Trudeau stuck our president in the back. That will not stand.

We need to appreciate Canada’s position.  Under the rules of the World Trade Organization, there are criteria used to define “national security” exceptions which are included in Article XXI of the Charter. Those exceptions are as follows:

(b) to prevent any contracting party from taking any action which it considers necessary for the protection
of its essential security interests

(i) relating to fissionable materials or the materials from which they are derived;

(ii) relating to the traffic in arms, ammunition and implements of war and to such traffic in other
goods and materials as is carried on directly or indirectly for the purpose of supplying a military

(iii) taken in time of war or other emergency in international relations

One would be hard pressed to argue that the US-Canada relationship falls under any of these conditions.  Thus, Canada does believe that the aluminum and steel tariffs imposed on it under the “national security” exception is “insulting”.

The difference in tone and language between the US and Canada is striking.  Readers should decide which partner is more diplomatic.


Justin Trudeau’s Comments After the G7 Meeting


US Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow on Trudeau’s Statement


Mr. Trump’s advisers justified the harsh language by asserting that Trudeau made Mr. Trump look “weak” before his meeting with North Korean leader Kim.  There might be merit in a show of solidarity before allies confront a mutual enemy.  But that argument is considerably weakened by Mr. Trump’s earlier request that Russia be allowed back into the G7 even without demanding any concessions from Russia on the Ukrainian invasion.  “Being tough” is often a good negotiating tactic, but only if one is consistently regarded as tough.

Posted June 10, 2018 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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