President Donald Trump tweeted out more criticism of U.S. trade partners Monday, including allies in Europe and Canada, adding to his declarations that the United States will no longer tolerate what he has called “trade abuse.”
That was part of a string of messages in which the president asserted the United States “pays close to the entire cost of NATO” while other member countries take advantage of the U.S. on trade.
“We protect Europe [which is good] at great financial loss, and then get unfairly clobbered on Trade,” he said.”Change is coming!”
NATO members, in general, make direct financial contributions based on their economic output, and as a result of being the world’s biggest economy the United States does contribute a larger amount than other nations.Indirectly, NATO members contribute to the alliance through the size of their military budgets, and the United States also spends more on defense than any other nation.
Trump tweeted from Singapore where he traveled for a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un after attending a meeting of G-7 leaders in Canada.
After Trump left, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called Trump’s decision to invoke national security grounds to impose new tariffs on aluminum and steel “insulting” because of the long history of Canadian troops supporting the United States in conflicts.
Trudeau also pledged to respond with equivalent tariffs on U.S. goods beginning July 1.
The European Union rebuked Trump Monday and defended Trudeau, saying it “stands fully behind” the joint statement on economic goals and other issues leaders from six other countries signed even as Trump ordered U.S. officials to not sign it.
“The European Union will continue to stand up for an international, rules-based, multilateral system,” an EU spokeswoman said, while also praising Trudeau’s “excellent preparation and chairing of this challenging summit.”
British Prime Minister Theresa May told parliament the Canadian meeting was “a difficult summit with, at times, some very candid discussions.”
But she rejected Trump’s go-it-alone plan for tariffs against allies to protect American workers.
“It cannot be done by taking unilateral action against your partners,” she said. “So at this summit, we expressed deep disappointment at the unjustified decision of the United States.”
While airborne after leaving the summit early, Trump ordered U.S. officials to refuse to sign the traditional end-of-summit communique and tweeted criticism of what he said were Trudeau’s “false statements at his news conference.”
Two key Trump aides, economic adviser Larry Kudlow and trade adviser Peter Navarro, assailed Trudeau on Sunday news talk shows.
Navarro said, “There’s a special place in hell for any foreign leader that engages in bad faith diplomacy with President Donald J. Trump and then tries to stab him in the back on the way out the door … that’s what bad faith Justin Trudeau did with that stunt press conference.”
Trump followed Monday with another tweet.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo downplayed any rift in G-7 relations during a news conference Monday in Singapore.
“There are always irritants in relationships.I am very confident that relationships between our countries, the United States and those G-7 countries, will continue to move forward on a strong basis,” he said.
Trudeau did not respond to Trump’s attacks, instead declaring the summit a success.
“The historic and important agreement we all reached” at the summit “will help make our economies stronger and people more prosperous, protect our democracies, safeguard our environment, and protect women and girls’ rights around the world. That’s what matters,” Trudeau said.
The G-7 summit communique called for working together to stimulate economic growth “that benefits everyone,” and highlighted a commitment to a “rules-based international trading system” and “fight protectionism.”The document also supports strong health systems, advancing gender equality, ending sexual and gender-based violence, as well as efforts to create a more peaceful world and combat climate change.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel told ARD television that Trump’s withdrawal from the communique through a tweet is “sobering and a bit depressing.”
French President Emmanuel Macron attacked Trump’s stance, saying, “International cooperation cannot be dictated by fits of anger and throwaway remarks.”He called Trump’s refusal to sign the communique a display of “incoherence and inconsistency.”