“Donald, have you been bullying your friends again?” seems to say Chancellor Angela Merkel to a defiant President Trump in a crowded unofficial G7 get together. The picture illustrates the confrontational attitude that has pervaded the last G7. And the cause is nothing else but Trump’s divisive and confrontational attitude towards anybody who would stand in his way to “make America great again”. Friends can become enemies and vice versa in few hours. Look at how quickly Trump has tweeted to refuse endorsing the final statement from the G7, blaming Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s press conference statement that Canada will not be « pushed around » and will go through with retaliatory tariffs against US steel and aluminum tax increases. Hours after having given 10 out of 10 to US relations with G7 countries, Trump has called Justin Trudeau “Very dishonest & weak.” arguing that “Our Tariffs are in response to his of 270% on dairy!” and instructing US officials to “look at tariffs on automobiles ». Peter Navarro, Trump’s trade advisor, has said that “There’s a special place in hell for any foreign leader that engages in bad faith diplomacy with President Trump and then tries to stab him in the back on the way out the door.” Now, Justin Trudeau could reply like his father, Pierre, former Canadian Prime Minister, when President Richard Nixon, speaking to his senior officials, referred to him, as a “clever son of a bitch” and “an asshole”. To which, Mr. Trudeau later jested: “I’ve been called worse things by better people.” (The comments were caught on the famous White House recording system – Watergate docet.)
Better, we should all look at the facts. First, Canada is the largest US export partner. In 2017, US had a solid $8,5bn surplus in goods and services exports ($673,9bn). Second, while Canada taxes US dairy at 270%, US taxes Canada 350% on tobacco and 132% on certain peanuts. Third, American car producers manufacture only 50% of their total in US, the rest is mainly done in Mexico and, you guessed it, in Canada. So now we have it. Donald Trump is unable to function as a member of a group (G7, Nafta, Paris Climate Agreement, Iran Nuclear Agreement), everything must revolve around him and he will not hesitate to parcel facts and reality in order to advocate his right to do whatever he wants. Did somebody recently argue against “the Strongmen”?