Fellow G7 members responded harshly to President Donald Trump’s refusal to sign a previously agreed-upon joint statement authored by all seven nations at a summit this weekend, with Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland on Sunday pointedly condemning Trump and his advisers’ “ad hominem attacks.”
“We spent two days to obtain a text and commitments. We will stand by them and anyone who would depart from them, once their back was turned, shows their incoherence and inconsistency,” French President Emmanuel Macron’s office said in a statement as translated by Politico.
“International cooperation cannot be dictated by fits of anger and throwaway remarks,” the statement added, according to German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle. “Let’s be serious and worthy of our people. We make commitments and keep them.”
“France and Europe maintain their support for this statement.”
German Minister of Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas was quoted in the same DW article as saying Trump’s late refusal to sign the painstakingly-crafted document was “actually not a real surprise.”
“We have seen this with the climate agreement or the Iran deal,” he said.
“In a matter of seconds, you can destroy trust with 280 twitter characters,” Maas remarked, a reference to Trump’s tweet rejecting the joint communiqué.
The six other G7 member nations — Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom — are all subject to new U.S. tariffs on imported aluminum and steel, a source of public frustration and anger even before Trump tweeted Saturday that he wouldn’t be signing the jointly-authored G7 communiqué.
Trump cited a press conference held by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as the reason for his about face, and senior advisers to the President matched Trump’s rhetoric in Sunday show appearances, calling Trudeau’s typically mild-mannered remarks a “betrayal,” and saying there was a “special place in hell” for leaders like him.
Without naming Trump, Trudeau tweeted Sunday in support of “[t]he historic and important agreement we all reached” at the summit.
The historic and important agreement we all reached at #G7Charlevoix will help make our economies stronger & people more prosperous, protect our democracies, safeguard our environment and protect women & girls’ rights around the world. That’s what matters. https://t.co/a6D109gTlB
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) June 10, 2018
Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland’s response to Trump and his advisers, in comments Sunday flagged by the Toronto Star’s Daniel Dale, was a bit more frank.
“Canada does not believe that ad hominem attacks are a particularly appropriate or useful way to conduct our relations with other countries,” Freeland told reporters.
“One thing that I give thanks for is that I am not responsible for explaining the reasoning behind any comments made by the officials of any foreign government, and that is a good thing.”
“We used fact-based arguments. We believe that trade is win-win, and we believe that our economic relationship with the United States is mutually beneficial and reciprocal,” she said separately, adding: “We are aware, however, the U.S.— This current administration has a different paradigm.”
This post has been updated.