White House trade adviser Pete Navarro has apologised for sharp comments he made about Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, US media report. The president tweeted from Air Force One that Trudeau was "dishonest", and weak. "The problem is that in conveying that message I used language that was inappropriate".
Mr Trump's threat continues the war of words between the two world leaders.
Earlier, Trump elaborated on his abrupt Twitter outburst as he departed the summit Saturday, telling a news conference in Singapore that Trudeau's assertion that Canada "will not be pushed around" would end up costing Canadians "a lot of money".
A Trump adviser had suggested Sunday that Trump saw Trudeau as trying to weaken his hand before the meeting with Kim.
Navarro came under scrutiny Sunday for bashing Trudeau after the prime minister criticized Trump in the wake of the G-7 summit held in Canada. "Nevertheless, it remains the job of the government to find ways of working constructively with this chaotic man, while vigorously defending Canadian interests".
Trudeau said that if Trump insisted on slapping steep tariffs on imported Canadian steel and aluminum, Canada would respond with retaliatory tariffs on United States imports. At the event, Trudeau said Canada would take retaliatory steps in response to Trump's steel and aluminium tariffs imposed on Canada and other allies.
Canadian officials have stressed the two countries' extensive trading relationship and pointed out that Canada is the top export destination for 35 USA states and that 9 million jobs in the United States depend on trade with its northern neighbour.
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During the 2016 presidential debate, Trump was accused of being a puppet of the Russian president. (We certainly pray for a full and quick recovery.) Kudlow didn't go quite as far as Navarro did in consigning Trudeau to the nether regions, but his remarks were sharply personal in attacking Trudeau, especially in describing his remarks as personal betrayals of Trump.
Trump also continued to denounce Canada's system of supply management to protect the domestic dairy, egg and poultry industry, which levels tariffs of up to 300 per cent on American imports of those products.
Bruce Heyman, a former U.S. ambassador to Canada, said Mr Navarro had "crossed a line".
G7 leaders jumped to the defence of Trudeau and reiterated their support for their joint statement. Meanwhile the Canadian tariff only affects 5-6 per cent of US steel production since the USA exports only about 12 per cent of the steel it produces (one-half to Canada). Canadian retaliatory tariffs, while annoying, are not going to damage USA industry. "$800 billion trade deficit", he said.
The northern nation is trying to pivot away from the USA, but it's not easy.
Since U.S. exports remain small relative to the domestic economy at 12 per cent of GDP (compared to Canada at 32 per cent of GDP) it is not easy to get the attention of Americans with retaliatory tariffs, even when they are applied by major trading partners like the European Union and Mexico as well as Canada. The prime minister is also nationalizing a pipeline to reduce reliance on American buyers.
Navarro then appeared on Fox News Sunday.
Trudeau had attempted to keep relations cordial in comments to reporters as he arrived at a cabinet meeting in Ontario. Most analysts are urging them to stay the course. He continued to bash the Canadian leader Tuesday during an interview with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos.