EU backs Canadian leader Trudeau after Trump’s sharp words


BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union on Monday backed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after U.S. President Donald Trump branded him “dishonest” and “weak” following a Group of Seven summit of leaders.

European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said the EU “stands fully behind” the joint statement issued at the end of the G-7 meeting at a resort town in Quebec.

Trump agreed to a statement on trade but withdrew from it later. He complained he was blindsided by Trudeau’s criticism of his tariff threats during the premier’s summit-ending news conference.

“The European Union will continue to stand up for an international, rules-based, multilateral system,” Schinas said.

He added that EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker thanked Trudeau “for the excellent preparation and chairing of this challenging summit.”

British Prime Minister Theresa May also went out of her way to thank Trudeau “for his leadership and skillful chairing” of what she called “a difficult summit with at times some very candid discussions.”

Speaking to the House of Commons, May said the other G-7 nations “expressed deep disappointment at the unjustified decision of the United States to apply tariffs to steel and aluminum imports” and urged dialogue to avoid “tit-for-tat escalation.”

In London, Mayor Sadiq Khan said he hoped Trump would reconsider policies such as the recent increase in tariffs on steel and aluminum from Europe, China, Mexico, Canada and elsewhere.

“I would hope that he would reflect on what his closest allies are saying ... Not just the U.K. but Canada, Germany, Japan — these aren’t foes, these are friends,” he told The Associated Press at a technology conference.

“When there’s a trade war, everyone’s a loser,” Khan said.

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