Trump Asks Trudeau: ‘Didn’t You Guys Burn Down the White House?’

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the tariffs "totally unacceptable" and "an affront" to Canadian soldiers who have served alongside Americans in numerous conflicts.

Last week, the Trump administration unveiled punishing tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum from the EU, Canada and Japan, among others.

The White House recently confirmed President Trump is considering separate trade deals with Canada and Mexico rather than a new NAFTA deal.

A White House and Treasury spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment. Canada also strongly condemned the measures and announced its own retaliatory tariffs.

The two leaders reportedly had a tense phone call May 25 before the official announcement of the new tariffs, which the president has justified under a national security clause in USA trade law.

While the goal of Trump's tariffs is to shift USA steel consumption away from foreign producers and towards domestic producers, Americans will share some of the pain as well. About 16 percent of all US exports go across the southern border, while about 80 percent of all Mexico exports are bought by the U.S. The White House backed the bill earlier this year.

The tariffs, meanwhile, have further complicated the U.S.

"If the numbers are accurate, an additional $70 billion in USA exports to China would be considerable - a 50 percent increase in US exports from 2017 levels", Chad Bown, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, said in an email.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says as long as there is a possibility to save NAFTA that should be Canada's priority.

Although the European Union hasn't pulled the trigger on its own tariffs - yet - it recently opened a case at the World Trade Organization, arguing Trump's tariffs can't be justified on national security grounds and are no more than "pure protectionism".

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. "Canada's position is, and always has been that the trilateral approach is actually better for Canada, for Mexico and for the United States". The war was fought in Upper Canada, Lower Canada, on the Great Lakes and the Atlantic, and in the United States.

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.

"We do seem to be at a little bit of a Rubicon moment in terms of whether or not the United States is going to fundamentally turn its back on this economic order", said Thomas Wright of the Brookings Institution think tank in Washington.

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