June 9 (UPI) — President Donald Trump on Saturday said he wants to put an end to the United States’ status as the world’s “piggy bank” and suggested eliminating trade barriers between allies.
The president spoke at a spontaneous news conference at the G7 summit in Canada.
“Ultimately that’s what you want,” Trump said. “You want a tariff-free [arrangement]. You want no barriers. And you want no subsidies. Because you have some cases where countries are subsidizing industries and that’s not fair.”
The president’s call to eliminate trade barriers came as tensions build between the United States and its allies after the Trump administration imposed steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the European Union, Canada and Mexico.
In retaliation, all three allies vowed to impose retaliatory tariffs on scores of U.S. products.
Mexico hit back with fiscal penalties on U.S. exports like pork, steel, cheese and whiskey. The Mexican tariffs, announced last week, officially took effect Tuesday.
Peanut butter, denim, orange juice, bourbon, motorcycles and cigarettes are a few of the items on a European Union list of American goods now labeled with hefty import taxes, which go into effect July 1.
Last month, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced his government would retaliate against Trump’s tariffs by imposing import taxes on $12.8 billion worth of U.S. imports in what Canada says its strongest trade action since the World War II. The tariffs, which also take effect July 1, will last until the U.S. ends its trade action.
Trump said the United States has been subjected to unfair trade duties for many years.
“It’s going to change. Tariffs will come way down,” Trump said. “We’re like the piggy bank that everybody is robbing and that ends.”