Jun 7, 2018

Trudeau and Macron team up on Trump

Photo: Ludovic Marin/AFP/Getty Images

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and French President Emmanuel Macron took turns criticizing President Trump's recent moves on trade and the Iran deal and his rejection of a multilateral foreign policy in a joint press conference Thursday ahead of the G7, which starts tomorrow in Canada — much to Trump's reported displeasure.

The big picture: Macron, who not long ago was reveling in his position as Trump's favored international partner, was more willing to go to bat against him. "I believe in multilateral cooperation. This allows us to fight hegemony," he said. "Perhaps President Trump doesn't mind that he's being isolated today, but these six countries have shared values, we represent an economic market that has the strength of history behind it and also represents true international strength today."

On tariffs
  • Macron: "We can show the U.S. president that his unacceptable actions are hurting his own citizens. American jobs are on the line because of his actions."
  • Trudeau: "This is ridiculous to think they could be a threat to national security. In fact, we are the closest friends the United States has had in quite some time."
On dealing with Trump
  • Macron: "Sometimes I've been criticized for being too friendly with President Trump. There is a friendship between our two peoples and we have to maintain these ties. Secondly, I have repeatedly tried to convince President Trump on the climate side, on Iran, on trade. I am not President Trump, so I can't make decisions for him. Can I be criticized for the decisions of another leader? No! They could have criticized me for not standing up to him, for not trying to convince him. ... I think we've done everything we can, and put everything on the line."
  • Trudeau: "We know that President Trump likes to be unpredictable, but everything suggests he will be at the summit."
On the Iran deal
  • Macron: "You’re not comfortable with an agreement signed by your predecessor, maybe just because it was signed by your predecessor, but don’t stop others from respecting it and don’t push Iran to leave, because that’s the best protection we have today."
On multilateralism
  • Macron: "The United States is of course a strong economic power, but of course if they become more isolationist they become further from its own history, its own values. As a leader, if it decides to withdraw it will be bad for the United States, it would be bad for its image...it would be bad for its citizens as well, I think President Trump knows that."
  • Macron: "When you're saying that President Trump doesn't really care, maybe you're right, but no one lives forever. Our countries and the commitments we make will extend beyond our lives. There is a continuity on the international level."

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