Trump tariff tirade has MPs united across party lines, urging calm

Asked about the scathing comments from Trump's advisers on Sunday, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland called Trump's tariffs on Canadian aluminum and steel "illegal and unjustified" and said Canada does not believe in using "ad hominem attacks" on the international stage.

OTTAWA — U.S. President Donald Trump’s name-calling trade tirade has members of Parliament on both sides of the Commons calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to stand firm against tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum and threats against dairy producers and automakers.

Liberal MP and former dairy farmer Wayne Easter says there’s a real sense of panic in his P.E.I. riding over the implications of Trump’s pronouncements following his departure from the G7 summit.

After Trump left the G7 gathering in Quebec he lashed out at Trudeau’s closing statement, calling him “very dishonest and weak,” among other things.

The president also repeated claims that Canada overtaxes American dairy products under its supply management system and complained about Canadian automobiles entering the U.S. market.

In his summit statement, Trudeau called U.S. tariffs imposed on Canadian steel and aluminum imports “insulting” — a word he had used several times in the last two weeks to describe the American premise that Canada poses a national security threat to the U.S.

Ontario Conservative MP John Brassard says he’s heard over the weekend from worried businesses that use aluminum and steel, adding that there is real worry that there will be serious job implications within a couple of weeks.

The United States has imposed 25 per cent tariffs on steel from Canada, Mexico and the European Union, and 10 per cent tariffs on aluminum.

The Trudeau government has announced it will impose retaliatory tariffs on metals and a range of other U.S. products by July 1.

Earlier today, the European Union backed Trudeau, with European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas saying the EU “stands fully behind” the joint statement issued at the end of the summit.

“The European Union will continue to stand up for an international, rules-based, multilateral system,” Schinas said.

He added that EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker thanks Trudeau “for the excellent preparation and chairing of this challenging summit.”

In London, Mayor Sadiq Khan said he hopes Trump will reconsider his trade policies.

“I would hope that he would reflect on what his closest allies are saying… Not just the U.K. but Canada, Germany, Japan — these aren’t foes, these are friends,” he told The Associated Press at a technology conference.

“When there’s a trade war, everyone’s a loser.”

— With files from The Associated Press


The Canadian Press