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Monday, January 23, 2017
Trump’s First Win: Germany Hints at Compromises on Trade, Military
As President Trump finished his first 24 hours in office by attending an interfaith prayer service at the Washington National Cathedral, German Chancellor Angela Merkel vowed to seek compromises with the new President on trade and military spending issues.
Speaking at a news conference in south-western Germany, Merkel sought to be a peacemaker after the German Vice Chancellor and leader of the left-leaning Social Democrats, Sigmar Gabriel, lashed out against Donald Trump’s election the day before as the result of “a bad radicalization.”
Gabriel scoffed at the new president’s inaugural speech as nationalist and protectionist. He boasted that although Trump may be a rough ride, “We should neither be submissive nor have fear.” He threatened that if President Trump wants a trade war, “Europe and Germany need a strategy geared toward Asia and China and we have new opportunities.”
But with $111 billion in exports to the U.S. and only $49 billion of U.S. imports, Chancellor Angela Merkel fully understands that the German economy would risk great damage in a trade war with the America.
In trying to chart a conciliatory posture toward Trump, Merkel acknowledged: “He made his convictions clear in his inauguration speech.” She expressed a new willingness to compromise on trade and NATO military spending by stating:
“I say two things with regards to this (speech): first, I believe firmly that it is best for all of us if we work together based on rules, common values and joint action in the international economic system, in the international trade system, and make our contributions to the military alliances.” READ MORE