Canadian politicians of all stripes rallied round their prime minister on Monday after his cautious and polite defense of free trade rules drew an extraordinary personal rebuke from US President Donald Trump.
Nevertheless, Trump appears determined to up-end the trade relationship, insisting that the US is the loser, and has demanded that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) be renegotiated or abandoned.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government is in talks to save the deal and, in concert with the other major trading powers in the G7 group of nations that met in Quebec over the weekend, pushed back against Trump.
And in Ottawa on Monday, International Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne urged lawmakers to speed ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership that might offset losses in US trade by binding Canada closer to Asia, Australia and Latin America.
In particular, Canada, Japan and the European G7 powers are outraged by Trump's unilateral -- or illegal, in their eyes -- imposition of tariffs on imported steel and aluminum in the name of preserving US industry on national security grounds.