Trump Slammed Canada for Burning Down the White House. It Didn't, Really

Andrew Harrer  Bloomberg via Getty Images

Trump tweeted Thursday evening that he wants to remind Trudeau - and French President Emmanuel Macron - that Canada and France have been charging the U.S.

PARIS French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday his phone calls with US President Donald Trump and other world leaders were like sausages - better not explain what is inside.

"The idea that, you know, our soldiers who had fought and died together on the beaches of World War II and the mountains of Afghanistan, and have stood shoulder to shoulder in some of the most hard places in the world, that are always there for each other, somehow-this is insulting to that", he said.

"Throughout these talks, the US has sought to use the threat of trade restrictions as leverage to obtain concessions from the European Union", she said.

In even blunter language, Mr. Macron told a joint news conference that the USA tariffs on European, Canada and Mexican steel and aluminum are "unilateral and illegal" and predicted that they will hurt global growth.

Mr Macron also made reference to the joke that the G7 has become the "G6 plus one", saying: "Maybe the American president doesn't care about being isolated today, but we don't mind being six, if needs be".

Trudeau reportedly asked Trump to justify his view that the tariffs were a national security issue.

But in a nod to concerns raised by Trump a year ago, the joint statement also said "At the same time, that trade has not always worked to the benefit of everyone".

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Canada in particular has been outraged by Trump's tariffs, taking umbrage at the argument that they were motivated by national security concerns.

In its initial reaction to the new USA tariffs on May 31, Mexico had said it would keep its retaliatory levies in place till the US government rolled back its decision.

"Please tell Prime Minister Trudeau and President Macron that they are charging the USA massive tariffs and create non-monetary barriers".

The French leader's open challenge to Trump is a far cry from the "very special friendship" he sought to promote during his visit to Washington in late April. The United States trade representative office told the Washington Post that the USA actually has a trade surplus with Canada.

"A trade war doesn't spare anyone", Macron said. If Trump really is accusing them of historical crimes they didn't even have the ability to commit, I don't have much hope that we will avoid the certain economic catastrophe that we're barreling towards next month.

While it has imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from across the world, riling up allies in Europe, Asia and Canada, it has yet to enact any of the China-specific levies it has threatened.

Still, Macron is undeterred and affirms his friendship with the famously temperamental United States president.

"Hog, apple, potato and dairy farmers are among those suddenly facing a 10 or 20 percent tax hike on the exports they depend of for their livelihoods", she said in a statement.

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