A war of words has erupted between the United States and its G7 allies, hours after the group had put on an apparent show of unity at the end of a tense summit.
President Donald Trump and two of his advisers lashed out at Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, accusing him of engaging in “bad faith diplomacy”.
Trump retracted his endorsement of the G7’s joint communique – drawing a strong rebuke from France and Germany.
That statement had sought to overcome deep disagreements, notably over trade.
In recent weeks, trading partners of the US have criticised new tariffs on steel and aluminium imports imposed by the Trump administration.
In a news conference after the summit, the Canadian leader reasserted his opposition to the US tariffs, and vowed to press ahead with retaliatory moves on 1 July.
“Canadians are polite and reasonable but we will also not be pushed around,” he said.
Mr Trump responded by tweeting en route to his next summit, in Singapore, that he had instructed US officials “not to endorse the communique as we look at tariffs on automobiles”.
He said the move was based on Mr Trudeau’s “false statements… and the fact that Canada is charging massive tariffs to our US farmers, workers and companies”.
His top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, and trade adviser, Peter Navarro, then took to the Sunday morning news shows to further attack Mr Trudeau.
“He really kind of stabbed us in the back,” Mr Kudlow said, while Mr Navarro said: “There is a special place in Hell for any 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.”
Canada’s Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland responded by saying Mr Trump’s argument for imposing tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminium was “absurd and frankly insulting to Canadians”.
Mr Trump has cited national security as his reason, telling a news conference on Saturday that “to have a great military you need a great balance sheet”.
Canada, she said, is “the closest and strongest ally the United States has had. We can’t pose a security threat to the United States and I know that Americans understand that”.
Other G7 partners also seemed stunned by Mr Trump’s reaction, and pledged to support the communique.