Trump criticizes German trade surplus, again

Berlin- President Donald Trump launched a salvo against Germany and its auto sales in the United States at a meeting on Thursday with European Union leaders, German weekly Der Spiegel reported.

Juncker's intervention, at a press conference ahead of Friday's meeting of G7 leaders in Taormina, Sicily, came after reports in the German press, sourced to someone in the room, claimed that Trump had complained about the "terrible" trade deficit between the USA and Germany.

"Look at the millions of cars they sell in the USA, and we'll stop that", he added, according to the newspaper, citing participants in the meeting.

South Carolina Democratic Party Chair Trav Robertson released the following statement on President Trump's remark to European Union leaders that Germany is "very bad" for selling cars in the United States and that he is going to "stop that".

While the White House denies it's attacking German automakers, it's still complaining about the trade deficit with Germany.

Trump, who has previously called global warming a hoax, came under concerted pressure from the other leaders to honor the 2015 Paris Agreement on curbing carbon emissions. Last month, Mercedes-Benz sold 27,000 cars in the U.S. The U.S. had a trade deficit of $68 billion a year ago with Germany.

"He was not aggressive at all and anyway we have taken the defense of the Germans", he continued. Cohn clarified Friday that "He said they're very bad on trade", but added "he doesn't have a problem with Germany".

A German government spokesman says trade surpluses like the one that's provoking Trump's ire are the result of market factors and are "neither good nor bad".

The German trade surplus, which reached a record 253 billion euros ($283 billion) in 2016, has also been a source of contention within Europe, with Berlin's partners encouraging it to do more to promote domestic demand.

President Donald Trump is seen with leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, sitting at his right. "Because they are part of the eurozone, and the euro is weaker on balance than it would be if they had their own currency, which was the Deutschmark, that makes their exports more attractive than it would be otherwise", Bostjancic said.

The revelations came hours after Trump publicly blasted the U.S.'s European partners in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation defense alliance, accusing them of owing American taxpayers billions of dollars because they have previously not met the alliance's defense spending requirements. But with President Donald Trump, everything has changed.

  • Larry Hoffman