Over a span of just a few days, the Liberals announced a plan to potentially spend $4.5 billion to buy a controversial pipeline, watched the chances of a quick NAFTA renegotiation sputter and joined other G7 allies in moving closer to a punishing tariff war with the United States.
Trump had initially imposed the new tariffs in March - saying a reliance on imported metals threatened national security - but he had previously exempted Canada, Mexico and the European Union to buy time for negotiations.
In the reports from the U.S. Department of Commerce on the steel and aluminum national security investigations, the American concerns have little to do with fears that Canada or Canadian steel directly pose a threat.
"We need to demonstrate that as a sovereign nation we're in charge of our affairs and we can't accept that someone damages our economy for reasons that make no sense", said Morneau, who insisted he doesn't know the American motivation behind the tariffs.
"I've been to these meetings for a long time". "As a fine friend and ally of the United States, nobody denies that".
Underscoring that Washington D.C. has a Dollars 2 billion surplus on steel with Ottawa, the Canadian Prime Minister said, "The reason I don't know [what he wants] is because he's talked about the fact that he's anxious about trade surpluses, trade deficits around the world".
Mnuchin rejected comments from some G7 officials that the United States was circumventing worldwide trade rules with the tariffs or ceding leadership of a global economic and trading system it largely built after World War Two. I don't think in any way, the U.S.is abandoning its leadership in the global economy.
"We have important security and foreign policy relationships and although again there were discussions on trade, there were many, many areas that not only we agree on, we were completely united on", he said. Just before the G7 summit ended, Trump tweeted that the USA can not tolerate unfair trade anymore and that it's been ripped off by other countries for years. They cite a 35 per cent drop in steel industry jobs in America over the last 20 years as foreign steel displaced USA production and a 58 per cent drop in aluminum production jobs between 2013 and 2016.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R), who hasn't ruled out mounting a primary challenge against Trump in 2020, criticized the inaction to date of congressional Republican leaders nominally committed to free trade. "They are (Canada) very restrictive as to taking our agricultural product and other things", he said.
The White House announced its intention to implement tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from allies Canada, Mexico and the European Union, invoking national security as justification.
The EU ministers also voiced their concern about the effect the new USA sanctions against Iran may have on European firms working in the Islamic Republic. "We're that interconnected, so we want a win/win, and that's what we've been working toward".
"These tariffs may go on for a while or they may not", he said.
Mnuchin disagreed with Le Maire.
Le Maire said it is up to the United States to take action to rebuild confidence among G7 members and to avoid any escalation during the upcoming leaders' summit. Trump announced last month that he was pulling the United States out of an global nuclear agreement with Tehran.