Freeland calls 'ad hominem attacks' from U.S. inappropriate
U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to lash out at Canada is prompting reaction by high-profile figures including Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and former prime minister Stephen Harper.
On Saturday, Trump tweeted that Trudeau is "very dishonest and weak." On Sunday, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro told Fox News that Trudeau “deserves a special place in hell” for trying to “stab (Trump) in the back on the way out the door,” after Trump left the G7 in La Malbaie, Que.
Responding to a question from CTV Ottawa Bureau Chief Joyce Napier, Freeland said that, for her, “the most important thing is deeds rather than words,” adding that Canada plans to retaliate against U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum starting on July 1, something she says Canada is “doing out of sorrow.”
“In terms of the approach that governments choose to take, Canada does not believe that ad hominem attacks are a particularly appropriate or useful way to conduct our relations with other countries,” Freeland said.
“The Government of Canada is absolutely committed to standing strong to defending our workers and our industry and our retaliatory tariffs will come into effect – perfectly reciprocal, perfectly measured, a dollar for dollar response on July 1, which is Canada Day, perhaps not inappropriately,” she went on.
Former prime minister Stephen Harper also weighed in on the trade spat between Canada and the United States in an interview that aired Sunday morning on Fox News.
Harper said that although he could understand the U.S. wanting a better trade relationship with countries like China and Mexico, he can’t “understand the obsession with trade relations with Canada.”
“Not only is the trade deficit with Canada small, the United States runs a current account surplus with Canada,” he said. “Canada is the biggest single purchaser of U.S. goods and services in the world.”
Harper added that, “it just seems to me this is the wrong target, and from what I understand of American public opinion, I don’t think even Trump supporters think the Canadian trade relationship is a problem.”
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said on Twitter Sunday that the G7 meeting “shows that united support for free trade is at serious risk.”
“Canada’s Conservatives continue to support the Prime Minister’s efforts to make the case for free trade,” he added. “Divisive rhetoric and personal attacks from the US administration are clearly unhelpful.”
This G7 meeting shows that united support for free trade is at serious risk.— Andrew Scheer (@AndrewScheer) June 10, 2018
Canada’s Conservatives continue to support the Prime Minister’s efforts to make the case for free trade. Divisive rhetoric and personal attacks from the US administration are clearly unhelpful.