Trump invokes War of 1812 in testy call with Trudeau over tariffs

The US Commerce Department says that constitutes a threat to US national security.

Trump is trying to use the threat of tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, as well as other goods, to force numerous countries to agree to trade concessions.

President Donald Trump accused Canada of burning down the White House during the War of 1812, according to a new report.

A source told CNN in one particularly strained moment, Trump seemed to justify his actions by referencing the War of 1812.

Retaliating for tariffs imposed by the Trump administration, Mexico hit back Tuesday with fiscal penalties on USA exports like pork, steel, cheese and whiskey.

"Canada is a secure supplier of aluminum and steel to the US defence industry, putting aluminum in American planes and steel in American tanks", Trudeau said last week.

A range of retaliatory measures against the United States' metal tariffs took effect today, including 20% duties on US pork, apples and potatoes. That falls short of the US$200 billion over two years that the Trump administration has demanded the Chinese government buy to address a yawning trade imbalance.

"He's still deciding on what to do about Canada", said one senior administration official on the President's response to the request for leniency.

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Trudeau and Trump may lock horns again in La Malbaie, Que., where the prime minister will host the G7 summit June 8 and 9.

Asked about Trump's remark that the Canadians burned down the White House, aides to the President and to Canada's Trudeau declined to comment.

Mexico has imposed new import tariffs on USA goods, including pork products.

According to the United States Trade Representative's office, the USA had a $17.5 billion dollar goods deficit with Canada in 2017, but an overall surplus of $8.4 billion with Canada in 2017, with services, are included.

Although the European Union hasn't pulled the trigger on its own tariffs - yet - it recently opened a case at the World Trade Organization, arguing Trump's tariffs can't be justified on national security grounds and are no more than "pure protectionism".

Canada has also announced plans to retaliate with tariffs of up to 25% on almost $13 billion of United States products, set to take effect on July 1.

The tariffs, meanwhile, have further complicated the U.S. "Canada's position is, and always has been that the trilateral approach is actually better for Canada, for Mexico and for the United States". If Trump really is accusing them of historical crimes they didn't even have the ability to commit, I don't have much hope that we will avoid the certain economic catastrophe that we're barreling towards next month. "This is devastating to my family and pork producing families across the United States".

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