Published: Thu, June 07, 2018
Markets | By Josh Butler

Trump Slammed Canada for Burning Down the White House. It Didn't, Really

Trump Slammed Canada for Burning Down the White House. It Didn't, Really

The White House declined to comment when asked by CNN about the President's remark in reference to the War of 1812. The War of 1812 was in. Trump responded, "Didn't you guys burn down the White House?"

In Washington, Trump economic advisor Larry Kudlow told reporters that Trump would press ahead with global tariffs on steel, and allies including Canada and the European Union should not expect exemptions. In a tweet the next morning, he mused about shutting Canadian wood products out of America. On Monday, the country also said it would start proceedings in the World Trade Organization against the USA tariffs, a move already being followed by Canada, China, India and a number of other countries.

The top Trump aide spoke hours after the WTO circulated formal complaints from Canada and the European Union against steep tariffs imposed by the US last week.

While Trump's comment was supposedly meant to be a joke, it seems Trudeau didn't appreciate it at all, making a bold statement during a press conference earlier last week.

The fight has pushed relations between Canada and its closest commercial and diplomatic partner to their tensest time in recent memory, with $900-billion of annual trade in the balance. Trump later said he "had no idea" whether the claim was true.

This catch-all theme of Canada's G7 presidency likely will involve discussion of several topics that came up past year in Sicily, with North Korea's nukes moving up the priority list and the moribund Islamic State slipping down.

President Trump's economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, on Tuesday revived a possibility that the president would attempt to replace Nafta with bilateral deals with Canada and Mexico - a move both nations oppose.

There also is concern inside the administration about what may happen once Trump arrives in Canada.

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The apple trade industry will shift its focus to increase sales to US markets and exports to countries that don't have import tariffs, he said. Soldiers reportedly sat down to eat a meal made of leftover food from the White House scullery using White House dishes and silver before ransacking the presidential mansion and setting it ablaze.

Disruption to U.S. -Canada trade could also affect cross-border supply chains that have grown during the NAFTA era.

Good luck, suggested Kudlow, the director of the U.S. National Economic Council.

But tensions with the current President are on a different level. "When you're doing business, you take people to the brink of breaking them without having them break, to the maximum point their heads can handle - without breaking them". "But this is a little unusual and unusually personal", he said.

President Trump could drive a hard bargain in return for American support on those issues.

The White House was burned by British troops in 1814 as part of a failed invasion of the mid-Atlantic, more than 50 years before the signing of Canada's confederation paved the way for the country to become independent.

"I have no doubt that the United States and Canada will remain firm friends and allies whatever short term disagreements may occur", he said.

But even the innocuous themes chosen by Canada threaten to expose deep rifts between the Trump administration and US allies.

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