How will Merkel approach her meeting with Trump?

Mar 19, 2017, 00:36
How will Merkel approach her meeting with Trump?

U.S. President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed optimism that trade relations with the European Union can more fairly benefit both countries at a joint White House press conference.

Mr. Trump and Ms. Merkel said they also agreed on a broad range of issues, including working together to defeat the Islamic State and other radical Islamic terrorist groups and seeking a resolution to Russia's annexation of Crimea.

He also lashed out at the news media on Saturday.

"At least we have something in common, perhaps", said Mr Trump, referring to 2013 reports that the United States was monitoring Mrs Merkel's cellphone conversations. Merkel had been understandably upset by that development.

The Merkel-Trump meeting on Friday (March 17) was supposed to mark a fresh start after the Republican leader had unabashedly criticised Merkel for her refugee policy in Germany throughout his campaign trail. Germany now spends 1.23 percent of its GDP on defense, but it is being increased.

On Monday, March 16, Turkey said it would suspend high-level diplomatic relations with the Netherlands after Dutch authorities prevented its ministers from speaking at rallies of expatriate Turks, deepening the row between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

Merkel faces Trump for the handshake, but Trump. just kind of stares into space, ignoring her completely.

During their joint news conference, Trump - who has criticised North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as "obsolete" - demanded that America's allies in the military alliance pay back "vast sums of money from past years".

In the very same series of tweets, Trump hit out at Merkel's Germany for failing to meet its financial obligations to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, in what has been a tense subject for the two countries. According to the chancellor, the German industry has concluded that trade deals with South Korea have brought more jobs to Germany.

During the meeting, Trump complained that the USA had been treated "very, very unfairly" and sarcastically praised German trade officials for having an upper hand over their American counterparts. He said he expected the United States to do "fantastically well" in trade with Germany. Well, Trump didn't even bother looking in her direction, much less giving a response.

Mr Trump said the U.S. would do "fantastically well" in its trade relations with Germany. For most of the 30 minutes in the East Room, Merkel was stony-faced as Trump ripped into Washington's North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies for not paying for their "fair share" for transatlantic defense and demanded "fair and reciprocal trade" deals.

"We were trying to address the areas we disagree", she said of their ideological opposition.

Trump has questioned the relevance of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and said other countries need to contribute more. "We are supporters of free trade and not of protectionism", said Krueger in Geneva.