Saturday, 20 October, 2018

Navarro sorry for 'special place in hell' for Trudeau remark

Former US ambassador to Canada Navarro comments'unconscionable Chip Somodevilla Getty Images White House National Trade Council Director Peter Navarro
Ellis Copeland | 13 June, 2018, 19:31

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro apologised today for his sharp comments directed at Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after last week's Group of Seven summit, according to the Wall Street Journal.

"I used language that was inappropriate, and basically lost the power of that message", Navarro said.

Trump said he chose to back out of the G7 communique after watching Trudeau's closing summit news conference, at which he warned that Canada would not be pushed around on tariffs - a point the Canadian prime minister had made several times before.

Trump's comments came after he accused Trudeau of tough talk to the press after he left the meetings, while being "mild and meek" with the president face to face.

Asked if he was apologizing for the comments, Navarro said, "yeah, absolutely".

Trudeau, Trump told ABC News, "shouldn't have done that".

Trudeau said at the press conference that Canada would not be "pushed around" by the United States.

USA economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Trudeau "kind of stabbed us in the back" with his comments.

Trump says he watched that news conference on his way to Singapore, and was upset because he thought he and Trudeau had had a positive meeting in Charlevoix. "Using that type of language is not professional, it's not called for, and I tell you, I was deeply disappointed to see this lack of professionalism on his part".

And Marc Short, the White House director of legislative affairs, said that Navarro's comments were not the words that he would have chosen to characterize the leader of Canada.

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On Tuesday, Mr Trump kept up the attack on Mr Trudeau.

"Everybody was happy, and then he gave out a little bit of an obnoxious thing", Trump said of the prime minister.

Mr Trump's strained relationship with the rest of the G7 was in evidence on Saturday when he arrived late for the opening session, with Mr Trudeau addressing a gathering that included an empty chair where the president was meant to be. "The prime minister said nothing he hasn't said before - both in public, and in private conversations with the president".

The communique said the leaders of the United States, Canada, Britain, France, Italy, Germany and Japan agreed on the need for "free, fair, and mutually beneficial trade" and the importance of fighting protectionism.

Mr Trudeau, in Quebec City for bilateral meetings with non-G7 leaders after the summit, did not respond to reporters' questions as he arrived, but his office pointed to Ms Freeland as the minister responsible for Canada-US relations.

Kudlow says Trudeau's actions were a "sophomoric play" and says the prime minister stabbed his U.S. allies in the back, which he argues did a great disservice to the whole G7.

Mr. Trump has threatened to bring down a 25-per-cent tariff on all Canadian-made cars and trucks, which would hit four times more exports and jobs than the metals tariffs.

"I know it didn't look friendly", Trump said.

Trump had already roiled G-7 members ahead of the summit and raised fears of a trade war when he placed tariffs on steel and aluminum from Canada, the European Union and Mexico.

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