'The gig is up': Trump demands Canada dismantle supply management or risk trading relationship
In a wide-ranging press conference at the G7 summit in Quebec, U.S. President Donald Trump said Canada would have to dismantle its supply-managed dairy system or else Americans would dramatically curtail the trading relationship — a shot across the bow at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who has vocally defended the country's existing agricultural policies in the face of U.S. opposition.
"No tariffs, no barriers, that's the way it should be and no subsidies. In other words, let's say Canada, where we have tremendous tariffs. The U.S. pays tremendous tariffs on dairy, as an example, 270 per cent ... we don't want to pay anything, why should we pay anything?" Trump said, referencing the Canadian tariff levied on U.S. and foreign milk imports.
"It's very unfair to our farmers. Our farmers, whether it's through a non-tariff trade barrier or whether it's through very high tariffs ... this is all over the world. You can't do that. It's going to stop, or we'll stop trading," he said.
Trump said Canada and other G7 countries — historically his country's closest allies — have treated the U.S. like a "piggy bank that everyone's robbing ... the gig is up. They can't believe they got away with it [for so long]. Canada can't believe it got away with it."
Trump also warned countries against levying retaliatory tariffs on the U.S. after his administration imposed punitive tariffs on aluminum and steel imports from Canada, Mexico, and the EU on national security grounds.
Canada has already said it will impose some $16.5 billion in new tariffs on U.S. goods ranging from lawn mowers to felt-tipped pens in response to the new 10 per cent levy on the country's aluminum and the 25 per cent tariff on Canadian steel.
"We'll win that war 1,000 times out of a 1,000," he said.
Despite the tough words, Trump said his relationship with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and Trudeau is at a "10."
"The relationship that I've had with these leaders is great ... so you can tell that to your fake friends at CNN," he said after a reporter from that network asked about the state of the relationship with these close U.S. allies.