Ever the less-than-gracious guest, Donald Trump bad-mouthed Germany, big time. Earlier in the day, President Barack Obama had a hugely successful conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel before an appreciative crowd of 60,000 to 80,000. In comparison, Trump looked bad, really bad. Then, 45 did something worse.
The new U.S. president complained grievously that Germany had too much of a trade surplus. During the meeting Thursday at the European Union [EU] Commission in Brussels, Belgium, der SPIEGEL reported that Trump literally said:
‘The Germans are evil, very evil.’
Then, Trump added:
‘Look at the millions of cars they sell in the U.S., and we’ll stop that.’
Trump first met with President of the European Council Donald Tusk and EU Commissioner Jean-Claude Juncker for less than an hour. The commissioner sided with Germany and against the U.S. president, saying that free trade served everyone. There was no doubt that while Juncker commented in a friendly tone, his message was stone solid.
After Trump met with the two men, the other members of the EU came into the room. Both President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani and EU chief diplomat Federica Mogherini were there, too.
The Suddeutsche Zeitung report said that the EU members were very concerned about Trump’s lack of understanding about trade policy. They were not certain that the new U.S. president understood that the EU countries only made trade agreements jointly. Apparently, Trump’s economic consultant Gary Cohn was talking about Germany’s tariffs with the U.S. and tariffs between the U.S. and Belgium.
Die Bild newspaper interviewed Trump earlier, and he was critical of Germany in that interview. He threatened Germany economically:
‘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.’
It seems, 45 thought Germany’s surplus was unfair, because the U.S. had trade deficits. Germany’s Federal Minister of Finance Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU) said that Germany’s surplus was high, but Germany has been exporting more than it imported for a long time.
The EU members hoped that after its many conversations with Trump, that he would finally understand international trade policy. However, that hope is growing dim, and that may well be to the European countries’ detriment.
Check out this video of Trump trying to be the strong man:
Featured Image: Getty Images.