Speed Reads

G7 drama

Canadian officials reportedly tried to patiently explain trade to Trump. They felt blindsided by his pugnacious tweets.

Canadian officials were reportedly confused by President Trump's angry outburst regarding the trade relationship between the U.S. and Canada, The Toronto Star reported Monday, because they had spent so long coaxing him into understanding their point of view.

Trump's trip to Canada for the G7 summit did not go smoothly, ending with a sharp disagreement with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Trump eventually did not agree to sign the summit's joint statement, after he and other world leaders were unable to see eye-to-eye on global trade.

But Canadian aides and officials told the Star that Trump had seemingly understood Canada's arguments against U.S.-imposed steel and aluminum tariffs. Trudeau and his aides reportedly sat with Trump and explained the economic relationship, feeling that Trump "got it" by the end of the discussion.

Then Trump turned around and held a combative press conference, where he threatened to cut trade ties with G7 countries entirely if they didn't agree to a "zero tariffs" approach. Things reportedly began falling apart after Trump and Trudeau couldn't agree on language for the final statement — most world leaders wanted to pledge to adhere to "the rules-based global system" on trade, but the U.S. wanted it to read "a rules-based global system" to leave the door open to change that system.

Canadian aides said they were perplexed, since Trump and Trudeau had reportedly agreed in private to move forward on NAFTA talks. In the end, the president declined to pledge support for any of the group's agreements, including reducing ocean pollution, which surprised even the G7 leaders who had low expectations for common ground with Trump. Read more at The Toronto Star.