TRUMP: “The EU... If we do work it out, that will be positive. And if we don’t, it will be positive also, because – ”— Mick Krever (@mickbk) July 2, 2018
DUTCH PM RUTTE: “No.”
TRUMP: “— just think about those cars that pour in here.”
RUTTE: “It’s not positive. We have to work something out.” pic.twitter.com/KGDCkUKDSP
President Donald Trump was called out on his statements regarding tariffs and trade after a routine photo-op turned cringe-worthy for the POTUS.
Notorious for talking over his premier guests at the White House, Trump met his match in Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
The Trump administration garnered criticism for harsh tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union, which resulted in upsetting centuries long allies of the U.S.
Trump, during the photo-op, announced he would soon be meeting with E.U. official to discuss the issue.
“If we do work it out, that’ll be positive, and if we don’t, it’ll be positive also, because...” Trump said, talking on behalf of his Dutch counterpart. Rutte, however, was having none of it.
Shaking his head politely with laughter, Rutte shut down Trump with one simple word, “No.”
“Well, just think about those cars that pour in here, and we’ll do something, right?” Trump replied but Rutte wasn’t going to back down.
“It’s not positive,” he said. “We have to work something out.”
In a bid to rebuild America's industry, Trump has imposed hefty tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, including those from key G7 allies like Canada, Japan and the European Union.
French President Emmanuel Macron, who has invested in a warm personal relationship with Trump, said the other G7 nations — Britain, Canada, Germany, Italy and Japan, as well as France — should remain "polite" and productive but warned that "no leader is forever," a sign that Europe would not surrender meekly to the U.S. president.
"Maybe the American president doesn't care about being isolated today, but we don't mind being six, if needs be," Macron told reporters. "Because these six represent values, represent an economic market, and more than anything, represent a real force at the international level today."
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau predicted "robust discussions" on trade.
Trump fired back soon after on Twitter, addressing both leaders directly, saying they were charging "massive tariffs" on U.S. goods and had erected other trade barriers.
Please tell Prime Minister Trudeau and President Macron that they are charging the U.S. massive tariffs and create non-monetary barriers. The EU trade surplus with the U.S. is $151 Billion, and Canada keeps our farmers and others out. Look forward to seeing them tomorrow.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 7, 2018
Nonetheless, the embarrassing photo-op for the president ended on a rather good note. Both leaders shook hands and Trump thanked Rutte.
“The relationship between the Netherlands and the United States is over 400 years old,” Rutte said. “We are allies. We have always been friends, always been friendly, working closely together.”
Banner / Thumbnail : REUTERS / Leah Millis