Trump asks if Canada burnt down White House in call with PM

Washington apple farmers brace for impact after Mexico imposes tariffs on U.S. imports

Kudlow said Tuesday on Fox News that the president is "seriously considering" negotiating with Canada and Mexico separately, and forming two bilateral trade agreements.

Trump's comments come at a time of increased tensions between the USA and Canada, after the U.S. president unilaterally imposed increased tariffs without congressional approval, citing national security needs.

"Didn't you guys burn down the White House?" he told Trudeau, according to sources cited by CNN.

The current-day White House, from which Trump was likely taking Trudeau's call, had to be mostly rebuilt as a result of the fire.

"I know we're going to have some very, very frank conversations quite clearly around the table", Trudeau told Global TV, adding he would convey Canada's displeasure over the tariffs personally when he met Trump in Quebec.

Kudlow also pointedly denied a media report suggesting U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin tried to talk the president into extending an exemption for Canada from the steel tariffs, calling it "patently false".

Then-First Lady Dolley Madison famously rescued a portrait of first President George Washington before fleeing the White House in the so-called "Burning of Washington". For more than a century, the United States has had no problem building military equipment out of Canadian raw materials.

CNN senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta attempted to give President Trump a history lesson Wednesday, but failed miserably after he falsely attacked the Commander-in-Chief's reference to the British invasion of the United States.

"A 20% tariff eliminates our ability to compete effectively in Mexico", said Jim Heimerl, the trade group's president and a pork producer from Johnstown, Ohio.

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The left-leaning Trudeau and Macron see each other as natural allies in a world increasingly shaped by right-wing nationalism.

"There is no reason to use this provision to consider imposing tariffs on the automobile industry, and this appears to be either an attempt to affect domestic politics ahead of the election or for some other transactional objective regarding ongoing trade discussions". Bob Corker, the official said.

Other countries that export pork to Mexico have been allocated a collective tariff-free quota of 350,000 tonnes that will remain in effect until the end of this year.

The Trump administration placed a 25 percent tariff on steel and 10 percent tariff on aluminum with the aim of propping up USA metals manufacturers.

Kudlow shot back that "Trump is trying to fix this broken system".

Mexico has published the tariffs it is imposing on products imported from the U.S. in response to the Trump administration's duties on Mexican steel and aluminium. Trudeau announced increased funding and border vigilance "to prevent transshipment and diversion of unfairly priced foreign steel and aluminum into the North American market", according to a statement released in April.

On the Canadian end, three of the top five states that stand to lose the most from Canada's tariffs are the key swing states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and MI.

But was Trump's comment a joke? So why would the Trump administration be willing to start a trade war with the United States' most important trading partners - as well as some of its oldest allies?

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