The aftermath of the G7 Summit was rife with strife Sunday, with American economic director Larry Kudlow saying Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “stabbed us in the back”.
According to media reports, Canadian officials have been mystified by the attack on Trudeau by both Kudlow and U.S. President Donald Trump, since at a press conference after the summit ended Saturday, the prime minister used the same language as he had all week.
Regarding metal tariffs imposed by Trump for national security reasons, Trudeau repeated an earlier statement that the reason was “insulting” to Canadians who had fought and died alongside Americans in battlefields around the globe.
Trudeau also said Canada “will not be pushed around” byt its mighty U.S. neighbor.
Trump had appeared cordial during the two-day summit in Quebec, but he erupted with a Twitter firestorm of criticism of Trudeau once aboard Air Force One.
He described Trudeau as “meek” and “dishonest” and rescinded his earlier promise to sign the communique traditionally issued following G7 summits.
Trump also called for Canada to drop all trade tariffs, such as the one designed to protect Canada’s small dairy industry, and threatened more trade action if Canada did not acquiesce.
The brouhaha evaporated any goodwill that had been fostered between the U.S. and its allies at the G7.
In other developments at the two-day summit, Trudeau told Trump there would be no North American Free Trade Agreement unless the U.S. dropped its tariffs on steel and aluminum.
As promised on its agenda as G7 host country, Canada announced CAN$400 million (a little over $300 million) to help educate girls in poor countries, including the Rohingya. Other countries and organizations chipped in financially to bring the fund to CAN$3.8 billion ($2.94 billion) . The only G7 country that did not contribute was the U.S.
Trump left the summit after breakfast Saturday to fly to Singapore to prepare for his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
As a result, the U.S. did not participate in discussions designed to tackle climate change and the removal of plastics from the world’s oceans.
The G7 members are Canada, the U.S., U.K. Germany, Italy, Japan and France.
By Barry Ellsworth in Trenton, Canada