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Before the Smiles, Mounting Tensions Between Trudeau and Trump

Since Mr. Trump took office, Mr. Trudeau has employed a charm offensive, working to maintain close relations with the president, but also sending an army of negotiators across the border to shore up support for Nafta and try to contain Mr. Trump’s protectionist and nationalist impulses.

Called the “doughnut strategy,” Mr. Trudeau’s campaign seemed to be working until the end of last month.

In response, Mr. Trudeau pushed back for the first time, with punitive tariffs of his own on American imports worth $ 12.8 billion, and Canadians largely applauded.

On Friday, Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said the Canadian government would not back down. “But we say that with great sadness,” she said. She added that history had shown, for G-7 countries in particular, “we are most successful, and prosperous and safe, when we all grow together.”

On the eve of the summit meeting, a 2000 editorial resurfaced from a small British Columbia newspaper admonishing Mr. Trudeau for what it said was “inappropriately ‘handling’” of a female reporter, creating one more fire Mr. Trudeau had to douse.

First posted on social media by a well-known critic of Mr. Trudeau, it was then picked up by some American news outlets, including Breitbart, which is run by ideological champions of Mr. Trump. Mr. Trudeau’s office strongly denied any wrongdoing on the part of the prime minister, who is an outspoken feminist and had put gender equality and women’s empowerment near the top of the issues he hoped to promote during the summit meeting.

The current publisher of the newspaper, the Creston Valley Advance, said the paper was not in a position to “confirm or deny” any of its substance.

Source: NYT > World

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