QUEBEC CITY — French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau vowed on Thursday to confront U.S. President Donald Trump over his tariffs on steel and aluminum, which Macron called “unilateral and illegal.”
Macron met Trudeau in Ottawa, the Canadian capital, on Thursday ahead of a summit of G7 leaders in Quebec which has been overshadowed by Trumps disagreements with traditional allies, including the trade fight, but also on issues such as climate change and the Iran nuclear deal.
Trump, citing national security concerns, has slapped stiff tariffs on Canada and the EU, prompting retaliatory levies and setting off a trade war that leaders say ultimately will hurt businesses, workers and consumers around the globe.
“If we dont react to this unilateral and illegal decision from the U.S. this would not be correct,” Macron said at a joint news conference. “Within the international framework, we have to take measures and thats what Canada has done and what the European Union has also announced. We have to protect our industries, our workers, our economies, because thats what our people expect from us.”
Trudeau echoed the point. “We are going to defend our industries and our workers,” he said.
The two leaders also dismissed as absurd Trumps assertion of national security concerns. “France and NATO — this is ridiculous to think that they could be a threat to the United States security,” Trudeau said. “In reality, we are the closest allies and friends that the United States has had for quite some time.”
They also said they expected Trump to come under increasing pressure at home to reverse the tariffs, which they said would hurt U.S. interests.
“A trade war doesnt spare anyone,” Macron said. “It will start first of all to hurt U.S. workers.”