"Macron was definitely getting more phone calls than other European leaders, so it looked at first like it was paying off", Julianne Smith, a former deputy national security adviser to Vice President Joe Biden, told Politico.
But Trump is deadly serious about reforming a global trade system he believes is fundamentally broken, Kudlow said.
The reading significantly undershot a Reuters poll of analysts, who had predicted a 0.8 per cent rise.
"We've not had an American president or administration like this in the post-war period, " said Colin Robertson, a former Canadian diplomat.
The federal government also continued its outreach with top US lawmakers on Tuesday.
In two tweets Thursday evening, Trump accused the Canadian prime minister, as well as French President Emmanuel Macron, of "charging the US massive tariffs" and creating "non-monetary barriers".
Trump, for his part, has argued that the European Union countries and Canada have imposed tariffs on USA goods for years to the detriment of U.S. farmers and factories, though he did not mention any specific regulations.
Abe, who was in Washington ahead of the United States president's historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un next week, has more at stake than tariffs.
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But officials from the three countries have been unable to find consensus on several critical issues, leading to angry finger-pointing between Mr Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in recent days.
Most recently, Trump pulled the US out of the Iran nuclear agreement, following his earlier decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord. The EU trade surplus with the U.S. is $151bn, and Canada keeps a farmers and others out.
Trump has also seemed less than enthusiastic about the meetings, questioning if he even needs to attend.
Twice he attacked the Canadian prime minister on Twitter on Thursday and officials say the mood is likely to be exceptionally tense. President Macron tweeted the other six leaders wouldn't mind signing one without the U.S.
Pleas by the other member countries for exemptions from the steel and aluminum tariffs, which went into effect on June 1, have fallen on deaf ears in Washington.
"I regard this as much like a family quarrel", Kudlow told a news conference in Washington, adding that he's confident the current tariff angst will soon blow over.
They issued a joint declaration that affirmed the importance of the world's multilateral institutions that included a commitment "to shared values like liberty, democracy, respect for human rights, and the rule of law".
French leader Emmanuel Macron stressed however that the USA was no longer the sole economic superpower in the world and urged other industrialised countries to stick together.