At the meeting with the EU leaders Donald Trump has criticized massive criticism of Germany. The SPIEGEL learned from the circle of participants the exact wording.
US President Donald Trump has complained bitterly about the German trade surplus on his meeting with the EU top in Brussels. “The Germans are evil, very evil,” said Trump. This was learned by the SPIEGEL from participants in the meeting.
Trump said, “Look at the millions of cars they sell in the US, and we’ll stop that.”
At the meeting, EU Commissioner Jean-Claude Juncker took the side of the Germans and disagreed with Trumps Schelte. Free trade is a good thing for all, said the Commissioner. Juncker had tried a friendly tone, but was hard on the matter, says the participants.
At about an hour’s meeting, Trump first met with President Donald Tusk and Commissioner Jean-Claude Juncker, after about 45 minutes, other members of the EU came, including President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, and EU chief diplomat Federica Mogherini. (An analysis of the meeting can be found here .)
According to a report from the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”, the EU side was terrified about the lack of awareness of the Americans about trade policy. Apparently, it was unclear to the guests that the EU countries concluded trade agreements only jointly. Trumps economic consultant Gary Cohn is said to have said in the conversation between the US and Germany tariff tariffs other than between the USA and Belgium.
Germany has been exporting more than it has introduced for years. Trump had already made the German surplus on the subject earlier, and the President had already expressed his critical opinion in an interview with the Bild newspaper. “I would say to BMW if they want to build a factory in Mexico and sell cars to the US without a 35 percent tax, they can forget that” Trump said at the time. Since then, there has been a threat of a criminal tax in the room.
The new US president feels the German surplus is unfair because of the fact that trade deficits are elsewhere, he is particularly thinking about the US. The federal government is also under pressure within the EU because of the trade surplus. Lastly, Federal Minister of Finance Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU) had described the surplus as too high in the SPIEGEL interview.
It was actually thought in the EU, after countless meetings of European leaders with Trump and many attempts to explain the international trade policy. This hope may well bury the Europeans.