Senators seek to soothe relationship with Canada

Frederick Owens
June 15, 2018

This was the minister's first face to face meeting with Lighthizer since President Donald Trump called Prime Minister Justin Trudeau "weak" and "dishonest" and then threatened trade action against Canada's auto and dairy sectors.

Senators from both parties sought to mend a frayed relationship with Canada during a closed-door meeting Wednesday with Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland.

Opposition Leader James Aylward also expressed his support for Trudeau implementing retaliatory trade tariffs on US goods. For instance, Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs are expected to cause a drag on United States economic growth and result in a net loss of American jobs.

The majority of US senators agree with that view, said the committee's Republican chair, Sen. Corker said he believes it's an abuse of presidential authority.

"Canada has therefore announced, truly more in sorrow than in anger, announced a perfectly reciprocal, measured, dollar for dollar retaliation response" that will come into effect July 1, Freeland said, before adding that "we really are confident that at the end of the day common sense will prevail". Some Canadians are urging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to seek peace with the US president.

The Trump administration says Canadian steel imports could hurt the US steel industry, impairing the ability of factories to produce steel and aluminum for military jets and ships, or transmission lines. Canadians are "polite, we're reasonable, but we also will not be pushed around", Trudeau said.

In a tough speech Wednesday night, Freeland criticized Trump, without mentioning him by name, for ignoring the "rules-based" trading system whose "principal architect" was the United States.

"You may feel today that your size allows you to go mano a mano with your traditional adversaries and be guaranteed to win".

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"The idea that we could impose a national security threat to you is more than absurd, it's hurtful", she said at an event hosted by Foreign Policy, where she accepted the news magazine's Diplomat of the Year award.

One photo in particular shows Trudeau trying to engage with a sullen Trump. "But if history tells us one thing, it's that no one nation's preeminence is eternal", she said.

Trump had made similar remarks late Saturday, accusing the Canadian leader of acting "meek and mild" during talks, before ther press conference.

"We applaud Prime Minister Trudeau's effort in helping us in the world", Menendez said he told the foreign minister.

Canada's foreign affairs minister, Chrystia Freeland, continues her trip to Washington in the wake of last weekend's verbal attacks on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau by U.S. President Donald Trump following the G7 meeting near Quebec City.

The C.D. Howe study states the impact on GDP in value terms is relatively larger in Canada at -US$8.1 billion than in the United States at -US$3.0 billion.

The squabble escalated over the weekend at the G7 meeting of economic powers in Quebec when Trudeau said in a news conference that Canada would not be "pushed around" by the United States and called the tariffs "insulting".

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