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"Trump's trying to fix this broken system", the President's top economic adviser Mr Larry Kudlow told journalists at the White House on Wednesday.

The remarks are likely to create more economic uncertainty between Canada and the US following Trump's imposition of steel and aluminum tariffs that now affect imports from this country, Mexico and Europe.

Kudlow rejected criticism of Trump and declined to describe the dispute as a "trade war".

But trade tensions are heating up, culminating in a heated phone call between President Trump and Justin Trudeau, in which Trump dropped some history on the Canadian Prime Minister. "He's sticking to his guns. The lines are open". Washington has demanded that Beijing take steps to open its markets further to USA goods.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross once called Canada's US envoy, during a Trump visit to Wisconsin, saying he's "never heard him so upset".

Trudeau, who has been cordial with Trump, said in March he had received assurances that Canada would be spared as they worked toward a revamp of a 1994 continental trade pact with the United States.

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It is not clear if the comment was intended as a joke, but CNN report that it followed an exchange in which Mr Trudeau asked how the USA could justify the tariffs as a "national security" issue.

The renewed trade dispute between USA and Mexico comes amid fraught attempts to renegotiate the trillion-dollar North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta).

Trudeau told NBC: "The idea that we are somehow a national security threat to the United States is, quite frankly, insulting and unacceptable".

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Canada and Mexico already have retaliated against a range of US exports and the European Union has promised to do so as well, raising the specter of a tit-for-tat escalation.

Other measures Mexico imposed include 20-25% tariffs on cheese and bourbon and duties of up to 25% on steel products.

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It's a dark turn for the G-7, which first met in 1975 when it included only six countries: the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Italy and Japan.

Expectations for a resolution of the trade row this week are low after finance leaders from the United States' G7 partners butted heads with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin at a meeting last week in the Canadian resort town of Whistler, British Columbia. G-7 allies have condemned Trump's pullout from the Paris accord on climate change.

Ministers from Germany, France and Britain have already written to US officials urging them to shield European companies working in Iran from getting caught up in Washington's new sanctions on Tehran.

"We have on various occasions heard the president speak about his interest or his musings about bilateral deals, instead of the trilateral NAFTA that we have", he said.

President Trump is trying to restructure U.S. trading relations with all major trading partners at one time, but paying no heed to the institutions and diplomatic etiquette that leaders normally use when dealing with their peers, Mr Rod Hunter, a partner at the worldwide law firm Baker McKenzie, told The Straits Times.

"Trump thought Canada was going to be the easiest country to play, and he's disappointed that didn't happen", said Dunniella Kaufman, a Canadian trade lawyer based in Washington.

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He was referring to al-Tanf region in southern Homs province, where the Pentagon has a military base. But Assad said Iran's presence in Syria has been limited to officers assisting the army.

Kudlow also insisted that the USA relationship with Canada, in particular, was still "very good".


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