US President Donald Trump. Picture: REUTERS
US President Donald Trump. Picture: REUTERS

Singapore — US President Donald Trump on Tuesday kept up his feud with America’s closest allies over trade, saying he could not allow them to continue taking advantage of the US.

Although he insisted he had a good relationship with Justin Trudeau, just days after blowing up a Group of Seven summit the Canadian prime minister had hosted, Trump took another dig at him, saying the US had a big trade deficit with Canada and "a little balance" was needed.

Trump’s comments after a historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un were his most extensive on the matter since he tweeted that Trudeau was "dishonest and weak" and raised the prospect of tariffs against motor vehicle imports, a move that would imperil the Canadian economy.

"We are being taken advantage of by virtually every one of those countries," the US president told a news media conference on Tuesday.

He left the weekend G-7 summit in Canada early, then announced he was backing out of a joint communique, torpedoing what appeared to be a fragile consensus on the trade dispute between Washington and its main allies. The escalating clash cast a shadow over Trump’s talks with Kim and led critics to question why the president was bashing US partners while appearing to cosy up to a long-time foe.