Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Trump's Aggression against G7 and Canada: Five Questions about What's at Stake

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Trump's Aggression against G7 and Canada: Five Questions about What's at Stake

Article excerpt

Five questions about Trump's latest moves

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QUEBEC - When Donald Trump boarded Air Force in Quebec and whisked his way to Singapore on Saturday, he left behind a stormy wake of mixed signals that bordered on rage. Hours after indicating he would sign on to a carefully drafted G7 communique, he rescinded his support, accused Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of being meek and dishonest, and threatened Canada with more trade action.

Here are five questions about what's at stake:

-- The future of the G7: The leaders huddled late into the night on Friday and again on Saturday morning to find compromises palatable to all, especially on maintaining free trade and carefully managing trade disputes. With Trump rejecting those compromises and turning his back on an agreement, can the G7 remain intact? They also affirmed the importance of the "international rules-based order" and that the G7 is based on a set of "shared values." What is lost if the G7 becomes the G6, or simply falls apart?

-- Canada-U.S. trade: The United States is, by far, Canada's biggest customer. Much of Canada's export sector is tightly linked to having an open border with the United States. That makes the renegotiation of the North America Free Trade Agreement that Trump has instigated crucial to the future of Canadian investment and prosperity. The U.S. has recently thrown up or reinforced several barriers to that open border -- in aerospace, lumber, and most recently steel and aluminum. With Trump and Trudeau exchanging increasingly personal and public insults, what happens to those NAFTA negotiations? Are Canada's supply chains at risk? Are there enough reasonable conversations taking place with thoughtful American powerbrokers behind the scenes to help Canada escape a full-blown trade war that would devastate a wide range of sectors?

-- Dairy: Trump has lashed out at Canada's dairy exports repeatedly in the past few days, complaining that the U. …

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