Justin Trudeau and Donald Trump once again become a headache for Canadian authorities after the Canadian Prime Minister’s gossip and alleged mockery during the NATO summit and his response.
The final shock in relations between the two partners and neighbours began with the publication of a video in which Trudeau appears conversing with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron and Princess Anne, daughter of Queen Elizabeth II, during a reception at Buckingham Palace in London in honour of the participants in the NATO summit.
In the video broadcast, although President Trump is not expressly mentioned, Trudeau seems to gossip and mock the length of his press conferences and that he is even leaving his own team “speechless” amid the smiles of his interlocutors.
At a press conference at the end of the NATO summit, Trudeau acknowledged that the conversation was indeed about Trump and about “an unscheduled press conference” before his meeting with him.
Trudeau tried to downplay the incident by nuancing the words in the video and noted that they referred to Trump’s announcement that the next G7 summit will be held at Camp David.
“I think it was an unscheduled announcement and I think everyone’s teams, and all the leaders have teams that from time to time are stunned by unplanned surprises, like the video itself, for example,” the Canadian prime minister joked.
Trudeau also repeated that he has good relations with Trump and that the partnership between Canada and the United States is solid.
“I think people know that the relationship between Canada and the United States is deep and goes beyond the relationship between the prime minister and the president, although I will say that as you all know, the president and I have a very good and constructive relationship,” Trudeau said.
But Trump didn’t seem to have the same opinion about Trudeau’s video and comments, and after hearing about the images, he deemed it a “fake”.
He added that Trudeau’s gossip to other European leaders was perhaps the result of the criticism he threw in his face and in public about Canada’s failure to allocate 2% of the country’s GDP to NATO.
What is clear is that Canada has to tread lightly with Trump, since since the businessman arrived at the White House, the special relationship between Ottawa and Washington is not as fluid as it has been for decades.
For example, Trump has used Canadian steel and aluminum tariffs as a form of pressure in the negotiations of the new North American free trade agreement, in which Mexico, known as T-MEC, also participates.
Those tariffs, which caused Canada to retaliate trade against the United States in the amount of $16 billion, were only withdrawn in May of this year, months after the three countries reached an agreement to sign the T-MEC.
And despite good relations between the two, Trump had no trouble insulting Canada’s prime minister at the end of the June 2018 G7 Summit in Quebec and withdrawing his signature from the joint statement in retaliation.
And all because Trudeau dared to say in his press conference that Canada would not allow itself to be “overwhelmed” by the United States and that he considered the tariffs imposed by Washington on Canadian steel and aluminium to be “insulting”.
This time, in Ottawa, it is feared that Trump will retaliate against Canada for Trudeau’s alleged mockery.
Leaders of major opposition parties today criticized Trudeau for his “poor judgment,” as the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, Andrew Scheer, told him.
Scheer told the media that “at a time when Canada needs strong relations, Justin Trudeau’s poor judgment, lack of professionalism and love of drama continue to weaken Canada’s position in the world.
And the leader of the sovereignist Bloque Quebequés (BQ), Yves-Francois Blanchet, the second opposition party, pointed out that Trudeau’s actions only serve to increase Canada’s problems with its neighbor.