German Chancellor Merkel meets Donald Trump

01 May, 2018, 12:42 | Author: Bert Pena
  • German chancellor Angela Merkel with US president Donald Trump

France's Emmanuel Macron and Germany's Angela Merkel made their separate ways to Washington with a joint mission: to persuade president Donald Trump to stay in the Iran nuclear accord and grant the European Union a reprieve from United States tariffs on steel and aluminium.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday revealed again his profound differences with German Chancellor Angela Merkel over defense burden, trade and the Iran nuke deal. Merkel said Germany's latest budget will take defense spending to 1.3 percent of GDP and the country is aiming for more over time. "We're protecting Europe and, yet, we pay, by far, more than anybody else". "This is true. But we should not abandon it without having something substantial and more substantial instead". She signaled that the close relationship with the USA was changing.

Germany has also not gotten close to spending 2 percent of its GDP on the military, a goal set by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members and repeatedly stressed by Trump.

The European leaders also discussed the impact of recently imposed US tariffs on steel and aluminum, for which the EU received a temporary exemption, according to Downing Street.

"We need a reciprocal relationship, which we don't have".

It was put in quarantine just like other plants or animals brought into the United States.

"I think it sends the right message", Trump told reporters at the White House.

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Trump also noted sarcastically the bad blood between the European leaders and himself.

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection guidelines, the tree needed to be quarantined before it could be permanently planted.

Mr Trump is due to decide in the coming weeks whether to abandon the deal.

The sapling was a gift from Macron on the occasion of his state visit. But the combined failure of the French president and the German chancellor underscored how little influence they have with Trump.

Theresa May, Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel discussed the importance of maintaining the existing deal in separate phone calls over the weekend.

"The president obviously is not satisfied with the trade surplus. She laughs very easily about everything but she shows it less than me".

Macron's office said he and Putin "expressed their common will to preserve the gains from the agreement", which saw Iran agree to freeze its nuclear programme in exchange for the lifting of crippling economic sanctions.

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