Macron calls on G7 members to confront Trump’s trade policies

None of their diplomatic entreaties have persuaded Trump to reverse course after he announced tariffs on European and Canadian steel and aluminum imports to the U.S.

Now, according to some people in the White House, Donald Trump was simply being sarcastic and trying to make a history joke to Trudeau about the time the Canadians burned down the White House. Canada did not become a nation until 1867.

The two leaders also dismissed as absurd Trump's assertion of national security concerns. In a statement on Thursday, the White House called out Trudeau by name.

That statement said "we reiterate our commitment to keep our markets open and to fight protectionism, while standing firm against all unfair trade practices". "The president is at ease with all of these tough issues".

"There may be disagreements, I regard this as much like a family quarrel".

Asked about Trump's remark that the Canadians burned down the White House, aides to the President and to Canada's Trudeau declined to comment.

Trudeau said he has been "blunt" in private conversations with Trump and said the two-day G7 gathering is a chance for more "frank" discussions.

Twitter users found the error both embarrassing and hilarious.

The United States is reportedly preparing to unleash another round of tariffs on Canada as retribution for its Can$16.6 billion (US$12.9 billion) in tariffs on USA goods. In March, audio leaked of Trump bragging during a fundraising dinner about bluffing to Trudeau regarding trade.

However, there are believed to be divisions over the scale of the fightback, with Germany said to be resisting demands in some quarters for a more punitive response. "I think the president's made that very clear".

"Canada's position is and always has been that the trilateral approach is actually better for Canada, Mexico and the United States".

Kudlow also insisted that the U.S. relationship with Canada, in particular, was still "very good".

While trade is expected to dominate, Trudeau also wants to focus on gender equality and climate change. Describing the tense three days, Bruno Le Maire, France's finance and economy minister, said it was "far more a G-6 plus one than a G-7".

"Let us modernise what needs to be modernised", he added in reference to the WTO.

The increasingly critical tone from allies is a shift after leaders spent the past year and a half seeking to woo and cajole the American president.

Mexico imports so much United States pork - almost one-third of what's consumed - that the government says it will waive tariffs on up to 350,000 tons of pork imported from other nations to avoid destabilising the market. "They all tried to hug him close, as we used to say about Blair and Bush". "We can't wage a trade war between friends", Emmanuel Macron said, adding that he the countries have to remain polite as the U.S. is an ally and "we need them".

Trump's tariffs were applied on G7 allies under a category that labelled them a security risk - an assertion his partners have vigorously rejected.

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