Merkel heads for tough Trump talks on trade, Iran nuclear deal

Merkel's working trip is expected to be far more business-like than this week's pomp-filled state visit by French President Emmanuel Macron, who has built a warm rapport with Trump despite stark policy differences.

Merkel heads for tough Trump talks on trade, Iran nuclear deal

World Bulletin / News Desk

German Chancellor Angela Merkel visits US President Donald Trump on Friday for a last-ditch European effort to prevent a transatlantic trade war and save the Iran nuclear deal.

Trump's lavish welcome for Macron, with hugs and much back-slapping, contrasted sharply with a tense White House event in March last year in which Trump appeared to ignore Merkel's offer of a handshake.

Despite Merkel's more sober style, her objective will be the same as Macron's -- to persuade Trump to back off his dual threats of punitive measures that could spark a transatlantic trade war and scrap the Iran nuclear deal.

Trump last month announced tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum, claiming foreign imports were harming US national security by undermining the domestic production needed for military readiness.

After an outcry from US allies, Trump granted a temporary exemption to key partners including the EU -- but this expires on May 1.

On the eve of Merkel's Washington visit, Berlin's hopes were dim that the EU may be spared the sweeping customs duties, to which it has vowed to retaliate, potentially setting off spiraling counter-measures.

"From today's perspective, we must assume that the tariffs will come on May 1," said a German government source. "And then we will see how we will handle it."

Güncelleme Tarihi: 26 Nisan 2018, 15:19