Why Trump is attacking Germany over trade

Trump used his first morning tweet to lash out at the European powerhouse, noting the United States has "a MASSIVE trade deficit with Germany" and griping that the Germans "pay FAR LESS than they should on North Atlantic Treaty Organisation & military".

Trump's tweet came after Merkel told a meeting last Sunday that "the times in which (Germany) could fully rely on others are partly over", a reference to the United States and UK. Moreover, few pictures were also shared on the official Twitter handle of PM Narendra Modi along with a caption which said, "Had a very good interaction with Chancellor Merkel".

Prime Minister Modi arrived in Berlin on Monday for the fourth India-Germany Intergovernmental Consultations.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that the fast track mechanism implemented by the Government and specifically for Germany has brought about a quantum jump in economic relations between the two countries.

Obama's participation in a forum with Merkel last Thursday came on the eve of her meeting with Trump in Italy during the G7 summit.

On Merkel's apparent criticism of Trump, Haley said: "I think there's obviously some differences of opinion between the two of them, but at the same time I know what we believe in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and how strongly we believe about those allies and we're going to continue to do that".

"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.

"Whether it be bilateral relations, humanitarian issues, regional or global issues, every discussion with the chancellor has been very beneficial for me", Modi said.

Senior German politicians responded swiftly to his tweet.

But Tuesday, Merkel clarified that she remains committed to strong ties between the US and Germany.

"That's great. That's what the president called for".

While it's unclear whether Merkel has deliberately picked a fight with Trump or misspoken and bitten off more than she can chew, challenging his stance is popular in Germany.

The remarks came soon after G7 and NATO summits, where news reports suggested that not all was well between her and Trump, who is leading the United States towards a more protectionist stance on economic issues and has called for NATO to pay for their share of expenditure of the Atlantic military alliance.

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

"I think the relationship that the president has had with Merkel he would describe as fairly unbelievable", Spicer told reporters gathered for the first daily press briefing since Trump returned from his first trip overseas as president.

  • Zachary Reyes