White House's top economic aide: Trudeau betrayed G7, 'stabbed us in the back'

Reporter
Yahoo News

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow continued the war of words between the Trump administration and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Sunday morning.

Kudlow, the conservative economist who directs the National Economic Council, was upset with Trudeau’s comments at a press conference after the contentious Group of 7 summit in Quebec. After Trump departed for Singapore for a highly anticipated meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Trudeau criticized Trump for triggering a trade dispute and said Canada would retaliate with tariffs against the U.S.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. (Photo illustration: Yahoo News; photos: Susan Walsh/AP, Lars Hagberg/AFP/Getty Images, Yves Herman/Reuters)
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. (Photo illustration: Yahoo News; photos: Susan Walsh/AP, Lars Hagberg/AFP/Getty Images, Yves Herman/Reuters)

In an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Kudlow argued that Trudeau’s critique amounted to a betrayal of the G7, as well as the U.S.-Canada alliance.

“He was polarizing. Here’s the thing. He really kind of stabbed us in the back. He really actually, you know what? He did a great disservice to the whole G7,” Kudlow said.

In a mocking tone, Kudlow rattled off the reasons Trudeau offered for his barbed critique of Trump’s policies.

“Well, he holds a press conference and he says the U.S. is insulting. He said Canada has to stand up for itself. He says that we are the problem with tariffs. Well, the in-factual, the non-factual part of this was they have enormous tariffs,” Kudlow said. “They have tariffs on certain dairy and food products — 290 [to] 295 percent.”

Trudeau had announced that the G7 members —  Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the U.K. and the U.S. — had agreed upon a joint communiqué, or formal statement, after a difficult week on trade issues. According to Trudeau, he told the president that Canadians may be polite and reasonable but they will not be pushed around and that his nation doesn’t “relish” putting tariffs on U.S. goods and services but is willing to do so.

Justin Trudeau and President Trump participate in the working session at the G7 summit on Friday. (Photo: Christinne Muschi/Reuters)
Justin Trudeau and President Trump participate in the working session at the G7 summit on Friday. (Photo: Christinne Muschi/Reuters)

“It would be with regret but it would be with absolute certainty and firmness that we move forward with retaliatory measures on July 1 applying equivalent tariffs to the ones that the Americans have unjustly applies to us,” Trudeau said at a press conference closing the summit.

Trump swiftly responded to Trudeau by upending the communiqué in a series of tweets Saturday evening. He said U.S. representatives will examine the tariffs on automobiles coming into the country and bemoaned the Canadian tariffs that affect American companies and farmers. He also attacked Trudeau’s character, calling the Liberal Party leader meek, weak and dishonest.



Kudlow was particularly offended that Trudeau would say this ahead of Trump’s North Korean summit. He told CNN’s Jake Tapper that “of course” Trump’s tweets about Trudeau actually had to do with North Korea “in large part.”

“He is not going to permit any show of weakness on the trip to negotiate with North Korea, nor should he,” Kudlow said. “One thing leads to another. They are all related …. Kim must not see American weakness.”

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