Trump-Germany salvo raises EU-US trade fears

Speaking after German media reported the US president as having described the Germans as "bad, very bad", European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker tried to play down the latest spat to erupt since Trump came to power pursuing a protectionist agenda.

Trump-Germany salvo raises EU-US trade fears

World Bulletin / News Desk

US President Donald Trump has launched a salvo against German car exports to the United States, officials confirmed Friday, in the latest sign of simmering transatlantic trade tensions.

Suggesting the comment attributed to Trump had been mistranslated, Juncker confirmed that Trump had raised Germany's large trade surplus with the US in the automobile sector during trade talks in Brussels on Thursday.

"I don't want to comment but I have to," said the head of the EU executive, who is in overall charge of the giant economic bloc's trading relationship with the rest of the world.

"It is not true the president was aggressive in his approach. This a translation problem," he said in Italy at a G7 summit attended by Trump, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other leaders.

"He did not say the Germans were behaving bad. He said we have a problem. It was not aggressive."

Trump's economic advisor Gary Cohn also insisted the exchanges had been amicable but that an important issue for the new administration had been put on the table.

"He said they're very bad on trade but he doesn't have a problem with Germany," Cohn told reporters, saying Trump had highlighted his father's German heritage.

"He (Trump) said: 'I don't have a problem with Germany, I have a problem with German trade'," Cohn insisted.

According to the German media reports Trump had complained bitterly about the likes of Volkswagen, BMW and Mercedes selling millions of vehicles to the US and vowed to stop it.

Last Mod: 26 Mayıs 2017, 14:49
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