U.S. Trade Is Trump's Main Focus at G-7 Gathering

Mexico has hit back against President Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminium, imposing its own import taxes on American goods including pork, potatoes and apples.

The tariff dispute has further complicated already contentious and prolonged NAFTA negotiations and created further uncertainty about the future of the trilateral agreement. But President Donald Trump has been a fierce critic of NAFTA, and the three countries are holding negotiations on possible changes to the free trade deal.

Kudlow said the Trump administration remains interested in the WTO and is working to resolve some of its trade disputes through the organization, but maintained its rulings would not determine USA policies.

"His preference now, and he asked me to convey this, is to actually negotiate with Mexico and Canada separately".

"Canada is a different country than Mexico, they have different problems, and you know, he's believed that bilaterals have always been better", says Kudlow.

Trump bragged at a fundraising speech later that month that he made up facts in a meeting with Trudeau, claiming the us runs a trade deficit with its biggest ally.

In addition to other moves against American-made products, Mexican officials set tariffs on USA pork shoulder and legs at 10 percent, and they will rise to 20 percent by July 5.

Although the European Union hasn't pulled the trigger on its own tariffs - yet - it recently opened a case at the World Trade Organization, arguing Trump's tariffs can't be justified on national security grounds and are no more than "pure protectionism".


That plan fell through when the White House tried to insist that he agree to including a so-called "sunset clause" in the deal. Canada is said to be considering a similar response.

The offer, made during discussions with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Good luck, suggested Kudlow, the director of the U.S. National Economic Council.

Mexico is the largest market for United States pork exporters.

Kudlow says Trump "hates multilateral" treaties.

Even with the weekend's developments, all the trade talks appear to be moving slowly or stalling, leading to angst on Capitol Hill and among business leaders.

In terms of ongoing trade negotiations with China, which Trump is threatening with $50 billion worth of tariffs, Kudlow said that "both sides" had not agreed to a path for Chinese telecoms firm ZTE to restart USA operations. "He's just going to try a different approach".

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the tariffs "totally unacceptable" and "an affront" to Canadian soldiers who have served alongside Americans in numerous conflicts.

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