Not getting along with the elephant to the south is nothing new for Canada, but this level of public ill-neighbourliness is new.
Not every prime minister and president have been buddies.
Lyndon Johnson, it is said, lifted Lester Pearson off the floor of the White House and yelled at him the day after the prime minister gave an anti–Vietnam war speech.
John Diefenbaker said of John Kennedy: “He’s a hothead. He’s a fool. Too young, too brash, too inexperienced and a boastful son of a bitch.”
In his private tapes, Richard Nixon called Pierre Trudeau a very derogatory term. Trudeau’s response: “I’ve been called worse things by better people.”
Nixon was not fond of Trudeau. After a meeting in 1971 he called him “a pompous egghead.”
He told his chief of staff, H.R. Haldeman that “you’ve got to put it to these people for kicking the U.S. around after what we did for that lousy son of a bitch.”
Nixon then had Haldeman plant a dark story about Trudeau with newspaper columnist Jack Anderson.
Brian Mulroney and Ronald Reagan got along famously, and from that the first free trade agreement was crafted, which later evolved into the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Reagan and Britain’s Margaret Thatcher got along. Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev, Thatcher and Reagan got along well, which likely hastened the fall of the iron curtain.
U.S. President George W. Bush, in a speech, thanked nearly every country on earth by name for their support after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He didn’t mention Canada, which was considered a significant issue in this nation.
Britain has the impression that the U.S. will soon target it for its support of Canada and Mexico at and after the G7 meetings, as well as for not agreeing to re-admitting Russia into the G7 club.
Dairy products and poultry are a tiny irritant with the American economy.
The current president isn’t getting what he wants so he will continue to use it as an excuse for not arriving at a trade agreement with Canada.
He has said similar things about Mexico and, like Canada, it is retaliating.