Peter Navarro, one of President Donald Trump's top trade advisers, said on today that it was a mistake to suggest that "there is a special place in hell" for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, offering a rare apology from a White House that nearly never walks back heated rhetoric.
Trudeau struck a steady-as-he-goes pose after Trump's latest dig, telling reporters, "I'm going to stay focused on defending jobs for Canadians and supporting Canadian interests".
"In the long term, what we have in common as North Americans will ensure we overcome this period", says John Tousignant, executive director of the Franco-American Centre, based in New Hampshire.
But a source close to Trudeau told AFP Canada was "prepared for all eventualities".
"In the short term, we quarrel from time to time and certainly this is one of those quarrelsome moments", Tousignant said, recalling that Pierre Elliott Trudeau, the current prime minister's late father, had his own issues in 1971 with then-president Richard Nixon, who famously referred to the elder Trudeau as an "asshole".More news: Jeff Horn Misses Weight Against Crawford At First Attempt
At a news conference after his meeting with Mr Kim, the President said the Canadian leader must not have realised that Mr Trump had televisions on Air Force One, allowing him to monitor Mr Trudeau's news conference at the end of the G7 summit.
"I'm not sure what activity he's asking me to undertake with either", quipped May.
"Canadians are polite and reasonable but we will also not be pushed around", he said. The Trudeau government has announced it will impose dollar-for-dollar, retaliatory tariffs on metals and a range of other USA products by July 1.
Earlier today, Trudeau cheered Trump's bid to broker a deal to rid the Korean Peninsula of nuclear weapons, but he stayed mum on the US administration's persistent trash talk. "That was a mistake".
A day before, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow had also lashed out at Trudeau. "The problem was that in conveying that message I used language that was inappropriate".More news: Trump's vow to end military drills with South Korea stuns a region
In Vermont, where Trump is particularly unpopular, a few choice words from the president won't keep people away from a popular weekend getaway on either side of the border, says one keen observer.
"We need to focus on the facts", and recall that Washington protects its industries too, a senior Canadian official said, pointing to U.S. agricultural subsidies.
(We certainly pray for a full and quick recovery.) Kudlow didn't go quite as far as Navarro did in consigning Trudeau to the nether regions, but his remarks were sharply personal in attacking Trudeau, especially in describing his remarks as personal betrayals of Trump.
It is unfortunate that there is now "so little trust" in this most important relationship, commented University of Montreal professor Frederic Merand.
Since Trump's election, Trudeau's government has poured energy and time into building relationships with the White House, with Congress and throughout the USA private sector, hoping to rally enough support to keep Trump from upending the continental trading system. "It would be very hard to sustain a Canadian industry without relatively free access to the US market". According to the Office of the United States Trade Representative, the USA had an $8.4 billion trade surplus with Canada, but a $17.5 billion trade deficit if services were excluded.More news: Toyota Motor to invest US$1 billion in ride-hailing firm Grab
"We finished the (G7) meeting and really everybody was happy".