The trade negotiations between Canada and the United States have been receiving a lot of press lately. So, what caused all the kerfuffle and why are these neighboring countries in what seems like a trade war? After all, these 2 countries share the world’s largest undefended border and have been there to aid each other in many times of crisis.
Canada has stood by its’ American neighbours during the first world war and on, welcomed thousands of stranded airline passengers during the 911 crisis, was there with aid during hurricane Katrina and helped six American embassy employees avoid capture by hiding them in the homes of Canadian embassy officers during the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis.
The U.S. set events in motion with an announcement in late May that Canada would no longer be exempt from steel and aluminum tariffs. Trudeau reacted strongly saying that this was “totally unacceptable”.
Next, Trudeau held a press conference at the G7 summit held in La Malbaie, Quebec June 9 and 10, 2018, following Trump's departure, where he stated that he found the U.S. tariffs to be “kind of insulting”, and that “as Canadians, we’re polite, we’re reasonable, but we absolutely will not be pushed around.”
The president then launched into a multi-day tirade on Twitter over trade and tariffs imposed by Canada. Trump blasted: “PM Justin Trudeau of Canada acted so meek and mild during our G7 meetings only to give a news conference after I left saying that, ‘US Tariffs were kind of insulting’ and he ‘will not be pushed around,’” Trump tweeted. “Very dishonest & weak.”
Trump then reversed the US support for a joint statement signed by every nation in the group, despite tensions between the countries.
Trudeau vowed that on July 1 Canada would retaliate with tariffs of equal measure to those imposed by the U.S. So far, Canada has imposed 16 billion dollars worth of tariffs on U.S. products.
Some grateful Americans, who aren’t supporting Trump’s remarks against Canada have responded with #ThanksCanada on social media, for everything from Neil Young and Joni Mitchell to ketchup chips and poutine.