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U.S.-Canada row escalates, Europeans criticize Trump's G7 move

Reuters  |  QUEBEC CITY 

By Andrea Hopkins

(Reuters) - The and swung sharply towards a diplomatic and trade crisis on Sunday as top advisers lashed out at Canadian a day after U.S. Trump called him "very dishonest and weak."

The spat drew in and France, who sharply criticized Trump's decision to abruptly withdraw his support for a hammered out at a Canadian summit on Saturday, accusing him of destroying trust and acting inconsistently.

Canadian responded to the assault by saying ad hominem attacks are not helpful, that will retaliate to U.S. tariffs in a measured and reciprocal way and that will always be willing to talk.

"Canada does not conduct its diplomacy through ad hominem attacks ... and we refrain particularly from ad hominem attacks when it comes from a close ally," Freeland told reporters in on Sunday.

Trump's looming summit with North Korean leader heightened tension, and accused Trudeau of betraying Trump with "polarizing" statements on trade policy that risked making the U.S. leader look weak on the eve of the historic summit.

Hours after Trump withdrew his support for the joint statement and attacked Trudeau, White House and drove the message home on Sunday morning shows in an extraordinary assault on a close U.S. ally and neighbor.

"(Trudeau) really kind of stabbed us in the back," Kudlow, the of the who had accompanied Trump to the summit of wealthy nations on Saturday, said on CNN's "State of the Union."

Navarro told "Sunday": "There is a special place in hell for any leader that engages in bad faith diplomacy with and then tries to stab him in the back on the way out the door and that's what bad-faith did with that stunt press conference, that's what weak dishonest did."

Trudeau did not immediately respond, but his office said on Saturday after Trump withdrew support for the that the had not said anything in his closing conference he has not said to Trump before.

allies seemed as perplexed as Canada at the sudden diplomatic row, and and accused Trump of destroying trust and acting inconsistently.

Having left the summit in Canada early, Trump's announcement on that he was backing out of the joint torpedoed what appeared to be a fragile consensus on a trade dispute between and its top allies.

Trump also said he might double down on import tariffs by hitting the sensitive auto industry, throwing the G7's efforts to show a united front into disarray.

"In a matter of seconds, you can destroy trust with 280 characters," German said when asked about Trump's U-turn, adding it would take much longer to rebuild lost trust.

is also standing by the communique, a French presidency said, adding anyone departing from the commitments made at the summit would be showing their "incoherence and inconsistency."

"International cooperation cannot depend on being angry and on sound bites. Let's be serious," the French official, speaking on condition of anonymity, added.

Trump has infuriated the European Union, Canada and by imposing tariffs on and aluminum imports.

Europe's answer must be to stick even closer together, defend its interests and strengthen alliances with countries such as and Canada, Maas said.

In his news conference, Trudeau had spoken of retaliatory measures that Canada would take next month in response to Trump's decision to slap tariffs on and aluminum imports.

"Canadians are polite, we're reasonable, but we also will not be pushed around," Trudeau said.

(Additional reporting by in Quebec City, Doina Chiacu and Sarah Lynch in Washington, Michael Nienaber in Berlin, and Emmanuel Jarry and Dominique Vidalon in Paris; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, June 10 2018. 23:02 IST
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