UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson met with President Donald Trump ahead of their G7 summit meeting and Johnson had some strong words for Mr. Trump, saying he is setting himself up to take the blame for a global recession if he keeps engaging in his trade war with China.
Johnson and Trump had breakfast together in Biarritz and Johnson advised Trump that continuing the trade war was “not the way to proceed.” He also told the US President that he was putting the entire global economy at risk and pushing it further into a downward spiral.
Johnson said to reporters on Sunday,
“Apart from anything else, those who support the tariffs are at risk of incurring the blame for the downturn in the global economy irrespective of whether or not that is true.”UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson
Johnson said the US is not the only country being implicated- that the UK is also “at risk of being implicated in this.” He continued, “We [the UK] face tariffs of altogether £2.25 billion – that’s the value of the goods affected, £1.1 billion on whisky alone – that we could face if this goes on. This is not the way to proceed.”
He implored the president to change direction and asked for an “opening up of global trade,” saying further, “I want to see a dialing down of tensions and I want to see tariffs come off.”
Furthermore, Johnson encouraged Trump to drop restrictions on goods from UK heading into US markets in a sort of post-Brexit potential trade deal.
Johnson said, “It’s not just beef or lamb that is currently banned from entering the US, in spite of their commitment to overturn that prohibition in 2014.” He continued, “Melton Mowbray pork pies, which are sold in Thailand and in Iceland, are currently unable to enter the US market because of some sort of Food and Drug Administration restriction.”
True to his nature, Trump actually denied that he was facing any pressure from other world leaders to deescalate his trade war, saying “nobody would tell me that.” Trump said, “I think they respect the trade war.”
Trump appeared with Johnson to speak to reporters before their meeting and hailed the UK leader as a “great prime minister” and called him the “right man” to deliver Brexit. “He needs no advice, he is the right man for the job,” Trump continued, “I’ve been saying that for a long time. Didn’t make your predecessor [Theresa May] very happy, but I’ve been saying that for a long time.”