Trump fires fresh Twitter broadside at Germany over trade, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation

Cheryl Sanders
May 31, 2017

"The entire discussion about climate was very hard, if not to say very dissatisfying", Merkel said over the weekend.

"But Germany also bought $80.4 billion worth of American goods and services past year, more than was purchased by any other European country other than the United Kingdom".

President Donald Trump has renewed his criticism of Germany following Chancellor Angela Merkel's suggestion that her country needs to adopt a more independent stance in world affairs.

According to German media, he called the country "very bad" because of its trade deficit with the U.S.

"We do not have the right to despoil the environment for future generations", Modi, who is in Berlin visit kicking off a four-nation Europe tour, said in Hindi, at a joint press conference with Merkel.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel also criticized Trump's policies toward refugees and immigration, saying they put Europe's peace at risk. "He has a lot of respect for her (Merkel)", White House spokesman Sean Spicer said here at a daily briefing.

"But many examples show us that at the end of the day, one can only bring peace and stability by developing economic perspectives and hope for the young generations, certainly not through military spending alone", he said.

"We also know that we Europeans must really take our fate into our own hands", she added, underlining Europe's frustration with Trump on climate policy in particular. The frustrations began in Brussels when Trump renewed his attack on Germany's trade surplus and vehicle exports in a private meeting with European Union officials.

"Donald Trump is making clear with his tweet that he considers Germany a political opponent", said Thomas Oppermann, the parliamentary caucus leader of the Social Democrats, the junior partners in Merkel's coalition government.

But she also finessed her message slightly on Monday, stressing that she was a "convinced trans-Atlanticist".

"I have experienced this in the last few days", she said, referring to a series of meetings with Trump and other world leaders.

On Sunday, Merkel said at a rally in Bavaria that Europeans must "take our destiny into our own hands". The most contentious issues were on climate and trade, with Trump planning to pull the United States out of the Paris climate deal.

Trump's tweet showed the deterioration of links with a key North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally, yet his timing also highlighted Germany's web of relations with worldwide partners who broadly share Merkel's free-trade outlook and conviction on combating climate change.

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