Merkel: EU will retaliate against Trump tariffs

Lester Mason
June 13, 2018

In the run-up to the G7 summit, Trump continued to rile up his fellow world leaders with accusations of unfair trade practices, provoking angry responses from both Trudeau and French President Emmanuel Macron, who even suggested that the G7 could fare as the G6, without the U.S. if need be.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was fighting Tuesday to stamp out the first major row within her uneasy coalition, as disputes over her refugee policy returned to haunt her while she negotiates a broad European Union asylum deal.

Like Canada, the European Union is preparing counter-measures against US tariffs on steel and aluminium imports, in line with World Trade Organisation rules, Merkel said.

The news comes as Merkel called for tolerance amid a wave of support for anti-immigration parties across Europe, with the Chancellor saying the current political crop's migration policy would act as a "litmus test" for the future of the continent.

Mr Kurz heads a right-wing government and has similar views to Mr Seehofer, he said: "We must decide who come to Europe, not the smugglers".

"The withdrawal, so to speak, via tweet is of course. sobering and a bit depressing", Merkel said in an ARD television interview following the G7 summit.


The picture, snapped Saturday by German government photographer Jesco Denzel, shows a standing Merkel with her hands firmly planted on a table staring down at Trump, who is seated with his arms folded and eyes glaring.

Asked if she was concerned that Trump could retaliate against European Union counter-measures by imposing tariffs on cars, Merkel said: "First of all, we'll try and see if we can prevent this". But Trudeau had simply reiterated points he'd made before: that Canada planned dollar-for-dollar retaliatory tariffs in response to Trump's new tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.

The German leader also reiterated that said she is not ready to "give up on G7" but at the same time would seek dialogue with Russian Federation and try to "work very closely" with Japan, Canada, India and China. "But if you include services in the trade balance, the USA has big surplus with Europe".

The picture has since gone viral on the internet, and Trump raised it himself at the news conference after he was asked about his relationship with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Although U.S. senators have warned that a spat risks launching a "trade war", the key factor behind Trump's apparent policy zigzag was a matter of his image ahead of a first ever meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un this week, according to Trump's economic adviser Larry Kudlow. In late May, Washington slapped its allies with import tariffs on steel and aluminum after it failed to win concessions from its trading partners.

Echoing Merkel's sentiments, French President Emmanuel Macron's office said that "international cooperation can not depend on fits of anger and a few words", according to a statement published by French public broadcaster RFI. We are sticking to them and whoever reneges on them is showing incoherence and inconsistency.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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