Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets U.S. President Donald Trump during the official welcoming ceremony at the G7 Leaders Summit in La Malbaie, Que., on Friday, June 8, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

A look at the events leading up to Canada vs. US battle

How did it comes to this? Leaders of Canada and the United States are locked in an ugly battle

The leaders of Canada and the United States are locked in an ugly, escalating public dispute over trade barriers, tariffs and how they think they world should resolve its problems.

With U.S. President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the centre of the dispute, the back and forth has intensified since just before the start of the month — when the Americans imposed hefty steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada.

The situation only got messier from there, particularly in the leadup to, during and right after the G7 leaders’ summit. The G7 meeting in La Malbaie, Que., which was hosted by Trudeau, marked Trump’s first visit to Canada as president.

RELATED: Trump gives relationship with G7 countries 10 out of 10

Here’s a blow-by-blow rundown of recent public exchanges that have led to an unprecedented political clash between otherwise friendly neighbours:

Trump, after announcing the tariffs, sends message to Trudeau about NAFTA talks on May 31 — ”Earlier today, this message was conveyed to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada: The United State (sic) will agree to a fair deal, or there will be no deal at all.”

Trudeau fires back on May 31 over the tariffs being applied on the premise Canada poses a national security threat to the U.S. — “Let’s be clear: These tariffs are totally unacceptable… That Canada could be considered a national security threat to the United States is inconceivable.”

On June 1, Trump sends the first of several Twitter salvos against what he says are Canada’s unfair trade policies — “Canada has treated our Agricultural business and Farmers very poorly for a very long period of time. Highly restrictive on Trade! They must open their markets and take down their trade barriers! They report a really high surplus on trade with us. Do Timber & Lumber in U.S.?”

Trudeau, on the June 3 episode of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” uses stronger words to characterize Trump’s tariffs — “The idea that Canadian steel that’s in military vehicles in the United States, that makes your fighter jets is somehow now a threat … the idea that we are somehow a national security threat to the United States is quite frankly insulting and unacceptable.”

RELATED: Trump attacks target Canada’s supply-managed dairy system

Trump mentions Canada again in a couple more tweets about trade on June 4 — “…Canada has all sorts of trade barriers on our Agricultural products. Not acceptable!” He also posted this tweet: “Farmers have not been doing well for 15 years. Mexico, Canada, China and others have treated them unfairly. By the time I finish trade talks, that will change. Big trade barriers against U.S. farmers, and other businesses, will finally be broken. Massive trade deficits no longer!”

Asked about the president’s Twitter blasts, Trudeau says June 7 that he won’t sink to that level — ”I’ve been firm, I’ve been clear, but I don’t think descending into insults is right for the way Canada engages with the world.”

On June 7 — the eve of Trudeau’s G7 summit — Trump sends out another missive — “Prime Minister Trudeau is being so indignant, bringing up the relationship that the U.S. and Canada had over the many years and all sorts of other things … but he doesn’t bring up the fact that they charge us up to 300% on dairy — hurting our Farmers, killing our Agriculture!” Earlier that day, Trump also tweeted: “Please tell Prime Minister Trudeau and President Macron that they are charging the U.S. massive tariffs and create non-monetary barriers. The EU trade surplus with the U.S. is $151 Billion, and Canada keeps our farmers and others out. Look forward to seeing them tomorrow.”

For good measure, Trump sent out more tweets the morning of June 8 before his arrival in Quebec — “Canada charges the U.S. a 270% tariff on Dairy Products! They didn’t tell you that, did they? Not fair to our farmers!”

In a news conference June 9 shortly before his departure from Quebec, Trump brings up his problems with trading with his friends — “It’s going to change, a hundred per cent. And tariffs are going to come way down, because people cannot continue to do that. We’re like the piggybank that everybody is robbing. And that ends.”

Later on June 9, after he left the G7 summit, Trump unleashed a barrage of tweets, likely while he was aboard Air Force One on his way to Singapore for his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un — “Just left the @G7 Summit in beautiful Canada. Great meetings and relationships with the six Country Leaders especially since they know I cannot allow them to apply large Tariffs and strong barriers to… U.S.A. Trade. They fully understand where I am coming from. After many decades, fair and reciprocal Trade will happen!”

At his closing G7 news conference, Trudeau once again refers to the national-security premise behind the tariffs as “kind of insulting” and then explains Canada’s retaliation — “I have made it very clear to the president that it is not something we relish doing, but it is something that we absolutely will do because Canadians are polite, we’re reasonable, but we also will not be pushed around.”

In response to Trudeau’s news conference, Trump shot back on June 9 — once again, he was likely aboard the presidential aircraft — “Based on Justin’s false statements at his news conference, and the fact that Canada is charging massive Tariffs to our U.S. farmers, workers and companies, I have instructed our U.S. Reps not to endorse the Communique as we look at Tariffs on automobiles flooding the U.S. Market!” That tweet was followed a second message: “PM Justin Trudeau of Canada acted so meek and mild during our @G7 meetings only to give a news conference after I left saying that, ‘US Tariffs were kind of insulting’ and he ‘will not be pushed around.’ Very dishonest & weak. Our Tariffs are in response to his of 270% on dairy!”

Larry Kudlow, Trump’s top economic adviser, goes further Sunday than the president in attacking Trudeau — “He really kind of stabbed us in the back… He did a great disservice to the whole G7.”

Later Sunday, Trump’s trade adviser Peter Navarro piles on — “There’s a special place in hell for any foreign leader that engages in bad-faith diplomacy with President Donald J. Trump and then tries to stab him in the back on the way out the door.”

Following the remarks by Kudlow and Navarro, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is far less confrontational in an effort, perhaps, to dial things down — “In terms of the approach that governments choose to take, Canada does not believe that ad-hominem attacks are a particularly appropriate or useful way to conduct our relations with other countries.”

Trump issues another Twitter salvo Sunday night, suggesting that Canada is “bragging” in an unspecified release about benefiting from U.S. trade — “Fair Trade is now to be called Fool Trade if it is not Reciprocal.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Surrey considers 75% discount on senior rec passes, drop-in admission

Council to vote Monday on proposal to deeply discount rates for residents over 70

‘A promise is a promise’: Cloverdale lantern festival opens, two months late

After months of delays due to permit issues and uncooperative weather, Art of Lights finally opens

Surrey mayor says city won’t repay $56M spent on LRT, but might pony up $40M in land transfers

There will be no tax increase for Surrey residents resulting from this, McCallum confirms

Delta-Richmond Operation Red Nose needs volunteers for New Year’s Eve

Higher demand for the service this year means ORN might not have enough drivers on Dec. 31

Cloverdale hockey team raising money for young burn survivors

Fundraiser to be hosted on Saturday at Cloverdale Crossing Save-On-Foods

MAP: Christmas light displays in Surrey, Langley and beyond

Send us pictures of your National Lampoon-style lit-up homes, nativity scenes or North Pole playlands

VIDEO: Giants winning streak halts against Everett Friday at home in Langley

Following their first loss since November, G-Men hope to regroup and defeat Victoria on Saturday.

ICBC to apply for 6.3% hike to basic insurance rates

Crown Corporation said it will be submitting its next basic rate application to the British Columbia Utilities Commission Friday

Media, robotics, Indigenous studies coming to B.C. Grade 12 classrooms in 2019-20

Provincial tests are also being changed for students in Grade 10 to 12, the Education Ministry said

Stranded B.C. trucker writes final wishes before being rescued 3 days later

‘I was just praying someone would come along’

Canfor Corp. extending temporary curtailment of sawmills in B.C.; cutting hours

Vancouver-based company says the decision is due to declining lumber prices, high log costs and log supply constraints

Canada’s prospective world junior team members await final roster decisions

Thirty-four players were invited to the national junior selection camp

Family searching for B.C. professor last seen at Colombian salsa club

Ramazan Gencay, a professor in economics at Simon Fraser University, was last seen in Medellin

Rash of bomb threats a learning opportunity for response capacity, Goodale

Thursday’s wave of bomb threats swept across communities on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border

Most Read