At a press conference in Quebec, Canada, on Saturday, President Donald Trump said that his meeting with the G7 leaders was friendly. The president said that the level of the relationship with the G7 leaders “is a 10.”
“We have a great relationship. Angela and Emmanuel and Justin. I would say the relationship is a 10,” he said, referring to leaders from Germany, France, and Canada, respectively.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, however, contradicted Trump’s statement.
During the discussions with the G7 leaders, Trump had warned that they could risk losing access to the world’s largest economy if they refuse to reduce trade barriers with the U.S.
President Trump said that he expects other nations to provide fair market access to American exports. He added that the U.S. will take the necessary steps to protect industry and workers from unfair practices.
He added that the U.S. is like the piggy bank that everybody’s robbing.
“And that ends,” he said, according to a report by New York Times. “If steps are not taken, the penalties would be severe,” Trump said.
Sharply criticizing Trump’s remarks on tariffs, Trudeau promised that Canada would answer with its own on July 1 unless the U.S. reversed course.
Trudeau told the president that Canadians did not take it lightly that the U.S. has moved forward with significant tariffs on their steel and aluminum industry.
“Particularly, [they] did not take lightly that it’s for a national security reason that for Canadians … who stood shoulder to shoulder with American soldiers in far-off lands in conflicts from the first World War onwards, it’s kind of insulting,” said Trudeau.
“Canadians, we’re polite, we’re reasonable, but we also will not be pushed around,” he added.
Trudeau also said that Canada will not agree to a “sunset clause” in negotiations for NAFTA.
“We will not, cannot sign a trade deal that expires automatically every five years. That is not a trade deal,” he said, according to a report by ABC News.
Trudeau also took a jab at President Trump, who arrived late for a gender equality meeting. He kicked off the meeting without waiting for “stragglers” to arrive. Trump missed Trudeau’s introductory statement and entered the room while Gender Equality Advisory council co-chair Isabelle Hudon was addressing the audience. Security personnel had to open a path for Trump through a throng of journalists and cameramen. The camera clicks for Trump almost drowned out Hudon.
The president also drew flak for his calls to reinstate Russia into the group. Russia was suspended from the group — then known as the G8 — in 2014 after its annexation of Crimea.
Trump’s proposal to include Russia in the group comes despite consistent opposition from European allies.