OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expressing the federal government’s support for Donald Trump’s efforts to broker a denuclearization deal with North Korea.
But he’s taking the high road when it comes to the U.S. president’s ongoing trash talk against Canada.
Trudeau says the Liberal government is looking forward to seeing the details of the agreement that emerged from Monday’s historic meeting between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
But when asked about Trump’s latest comments about Canada, Trudeau would say only that he’s focused on defending Canadian jobs and interests.
Trump told a lengthy news conference in Singapore that Trudeau’s assertion that Canada “will not be pushed around” will end up costing Canadians “a lot of money.”
Among the many topics that came up was Trump’s recent Twitter campaign against Trudeau, whom he has called “dishonest” and “weak.”
Those comments came after Trudeau’s closing news conference at the G7 summit in Quebec on Saturday, when the prime minister said he had pushed back against the Trump administration’s tariffs on steel and aluminum.
“We support the continuing efforts by the president on North Korea, (and) we look forward to looking at the details of the agreement,” Trudeau said today prior to his weekly cabinet meeting.
“On the comments, I’m going to stay focused on defending jobs for Canadians and supporting Canadian interests.”
Trump says he watched that news conference on his way to Singapore, and was upset because he thought he and Trudeau had had a positive meeting in Charlevoix.
Trump says Trudeau “probably didn’t know that Air Force One has about 20 televisions.
“I see the television and he’s giving a news conference about how he ‘will not be pushed around’ by the United States. And I say, ‘Push him around? We just shook hands!'” Trump said Tuesday.
“We finished the (G7) meeting and really everybody was happy.”
Trump has consistently railed against what he claims are unfair trade practices by some of America’s biggest trade partners, including Canada.
One particular source of his ire recently has been Canada’s supply management system, which levels tariffs of up to 300 per cent on imported dairy products.
“It’s very unfair to our farmers, and it’s very unfair to the people of our country,” Trump said Tuesday in Singapore.
“It’s very unfair, and it’s very unfair to our workers, and I’m gonna straighten it out. And it won’t even be tough.”
The Canadian Press