Trade Talk Shows Trump, Merkel Have Little Common Ground

Posted March 19, 2017

During their press conference, Trump denied claims of isolationism and demanded fairness in U.S.'s trade deals with other countries.

Former US President Barack Obama in 2016 said in an interview with The Atlantic about his foreign policy doctrine that "free riders aggravate me". "It's much much better to talk to one another and not about one another, and I think our conversation proved this", she said in her opening remarks, nodding to Trump.

His latest tweetstorm comes a day after he met German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Washington, where the two leaders showed little common ground over a host of thorny issues, including North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and defense spending.

Mr. Trump may have been referring to the fact that Germany, like most North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries, falls short of the alliance's guideline that each member should allocate 2 percent of its gross domestic product to military spending, but that money is not meant to be paid to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation or to the United States.

During his presidential campaign, Mr Trump frequently accused the Chancellor of "ruining" Germany for allowing an influx of refugees and other migrants from Syria. Both emphasized the need for fair trade, but Trump couldn't help but complain that Germany is now profiting at America's expense.

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"I can get around the media when the media doesn't tell the truth, so I like that", Trump said.

"We said nothing. All we did was quote a certain very talented legal mind who was the one responsible for saying that on TV", Trump said.

The President, meanwhile, praised the Chancellor for Germany's efforts in Afghanistan and its contributions to the fight against the Islamic State. "We don't want victory; we want fairness".

"Germany and America are connected by values of democracy, freedom and respect for the law and the dignity of man, independent of origin, skin color, religion, gender, sexual orientation or political views", Merkel said in a statement shortly after Trump's election victory.

Trump refused to take responsibility for the fallout resulting from his controversial accusation that President Obama had his wires tapped in Trump Tower.

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During a joint press conference, Trump was asked by a German reporter about his recent allegations that his predecessor spied on him during last year's allegations.

Trump has always supported Britain's departure from the European Union (EU) and has also been sceptical about multilateral trade agreements. And so you shouldn't be talking to me.

Merkel is "really the opposite" of Trump, German Institute for worldwide and Security Affairs Senior Fellow Susanne Dröge told NBC ahead of the meeting.

But look out, this lady is also as close to an Iron Chancellor as any German leader since Bismarck two centuries ago.

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